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Public Theater Adds Saheem Ali and Shanta Thake to Artistic Leadership Team

The Public is working to build an anti-racist organization.

Saheem Ali and Shanta Thake
(© Simon Luethi/Gregory Kramer)

The Public Theater has added Saheem Ali and Shanta Thake to its leadership team, taking on the roles of associate artistic directors.

Ali, who recently directed the Public's audio broadcast of Richard II, will serve as associate artistic director and resident director. Thake, who currently oversees the Public's artistic programs, will be associate artistic director and director of artistic programs. They join Mandy Hackett, who serves as associate artistic director and director of public theater productions. Each associate artistic director will have their own areas of focus and responsibilities, as referenced by their secondary titles.

The Public said the following in a statement: "Increased demands for equity and accountability within the theater industry have sparked a long overdue moment of change, and the Public is stepping into this moment and working toward building an anti-racist institution by transforming its artistic leadership and beginning to rebuild existing structures and systems."

Added artistic director Oskar Eustis, "This restructuring celebrates the growth and strength of our artists, diversifies the artistic decision-making authority at the Public, distributes leadership, and opens up our decision making to more voices. There is much more work to come, and shortly, but I believe this is an important step in the process of The Public becoming a more progressive, just, and anti-racist institution."