STAUNTON, VA – The American Shakespeare Center (ASC) announces the departure of Artistic Director Brandon Carter, after his nearly four years of dedicated service. Carter, who made history as the first person of color to hold an executive position at ASC as the third artistic director, leaves behind a legacy of visionary leadership and groundbreaking initiatives.

On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the ASC, Kimberly West remarked, “We have the greatest respect for Carter. He kept our lights burning brightly in a dark time, and he will always be an important part of our story. This leave-taking is a goodbye to that time, and a hello to a bright future for him and the ASC.”

Carter’s achievements include producing 32 productions, including two world premieres, a revival, and the introduction of ASC’s first playwrights of color. He acted in residence for six years in 30 productions, notably portraying Prince Hal and King Henry in the Henry IV and Henry V cycle. Post-pandemic, he played a pivotal role in restoring Equity relationships, attaining LORT-D status, and guiding ASC to full-capacity seating. His leadership fostered groundbreaking programming initiatives, with over 70% of staff and actors representing diverse communities. Carter revitalized key positions and introduced innovative concepts such as ASC’s 7-Actor rep, DEI training, flexible workweeks, intimacy choreography, and the revival of the Artists’ Renaissance Season.

Tynisha Willingham, Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees, expressed, “Carter’s leadership has been nothing short of inspirational, especially during such challenging times as the pandemic. His dedication and vision have been instrumental in not only ensuring the ASC’s survival but also in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization. Carter’s commitment to Shakespeare and the arts is truly commendable. His passion has not only enriched our understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare but have also fostered a more inclusive and vibrant artistic community.

Brandon Carter stated, “Serving as Artistic Director of the American Shakespeare Center has been a profound honor and a significant milestone in my early career. The Board of Trustees and I shared a clear objective, and I have fulfilled my role. Approaching the conclusion of my contract with ASC, I, alongside my beautiful family, made the thoughtful decision to transition back to my roots as an actor. I extend my heartfelt gratitude and continued support to ASC’s dedicated staff, ushers, talented artists, esteemed Board members, and the Shenandoah Valley. I’m proud of the work we have accomplished together.”

Brandon Carter, a native Virginian, is a member of the Actor’s Equity Association and holds a MFA from Penn State University. He is an original cast member, production manager, and producer of Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root, which won the Graham F. Smith Peace Foundation Prize for its promotion of human rights. Additionally, Carter is a former Artistic Associate with the Classical Theatre of Harlem.

Vanessa Morosco, Executive Director of ASC commented, “Brandon Carter’s courageous artistic leadership has carried the ASC through a challenging time in our theater industry. His passion and unwavering commitment have been crucial in setting up the ASC for a brighter future. He will always be a welcome part of the ASC family, and we wish him every success in this next stage of his career.”

Add a Comment

Leave a Comment