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Children’s Theatre of Charlotte appoints Adam Burke as artistic director

After a six month search, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte announced Adam Burke as their new artistic director.

Burke comes from San Antonio, where he has been assistant professor at St. Mary’s University for five years. He is also the artistic director of the Scioto Society in Chillicothe, Ohio, which produces the outdoor drama “Tecumseh.” Burke will begin his new job on June 17.

“We feel Adam is the perfect fit to help lead us into our next 65 years,” said Bruce LaRowe, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte’s executive director. “There were a lot of candidates, but throughout the search process, Adam stood out, not only for his commitment and passion for theater for youth and our exciting future, but also for the tremendous opportunities presented by our partnership with Charlotte Mecklenburg Library in ImaginOn.”

Children’s Theatre of Charlotte serves nearly 300,000 young people and families annually.

Originally from Green Bay, Wis., Burke graduated from the University of Arizona with a BFA in Theatre Acting, as well as from Northwestern University with an MFA in Theatre Directing. He was the founding artistic director at Chicago Theatre for Young Audiences and received a national Theatre Communications Group New Generations Fellowship. With that fellowship, he spent two years as an artistic associate at Childsplay, a professional theatre in Arizona.

As artistic director, Burke will be involved in directorial and casting choices for the 2013-2014 season. Stylistically, he prides himself as being an imaginative director.

“I try to approach everything as imaginatively and creatively as possible,” Burke said. “I think theater has the ability to really stretch the imagination in ways that movies and TV really can’t. When I direct, I focus on what is awe inspiring about a piece and how we can bring that out.”

Burke looks forward to living in Charlotte and engaging his passion for working with children.

“I’m leaving a lot of good behind in San Antonio, but the work going on at Children’s Theatre is too important for me to pass up. Working with children and families is something I’ve missed over the past few years. I really want to have a direct impact on the lives of children.”

Burke is interested in bringing new work to Children’s Theatre.

“I think it’s something the field needs,” he said. “We need to focus on what we’re reading and what’s coming out. We need to support playwrights and work with them to bring about what is new. That’s where my heart is right now.”

This article is part of the Charlotte Arts Journalism Alliance, a consortium of local media dedicated to writing about the arts.
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