Local leader takes the helm of Philly’s
theatre marketing and leadership organization
Few professional communities have been harder hit by the COVID-19 crisis than those that work in the theatre industry. In Philadelphia, and across the country, the unprecedented challenges of 2020 include issues surrounding the global pandemic as well as complex investigations into social justice and accountability.
At this critical juncture, Theatre Philadelphia, charged with the mission of connecting audiences and theatres in the city of Philadelphia, was in search of their next Executive Director. After a hiring process that was protracted by the COVID-19 crisis, Theatre Philadelphia has found their next leader in LaNeshe Miller-White.
“Having been in Philly working in theatre for over 15 years, this feels like a perfect progression of my service for the city’s artists, audiences, and organizations,” said Miller-White. “I am so excited to deepen my work with the Philadelphia theatre community through Theatre Philadelphia and look forward to helping shine a light on the artists and organizations that make Philly a wonderful hub of creativity.”
After graduating from Temple University, Miller-White worked as the marketing manager of The Painted Bride Art Center for over nine years. During that time, she also co-founded Theatre in the X, a theater company dedicated to breaking down the barriers to theater by providing accessible productions in Philadelphia’s Malcolm X Park for no cost. She has a track record of success facilitating art for social change and is a two-time Leeway Foundation Art & Change grantee. In addition to producing theater, she has been a prolific performer. LaNeshe is the Philadelphia Co-Chief Representative for the national organization: the Parent-Artist Advocacy League (PAAL).
She was named a 2012 Knight Foundation Emerging Leaders Fellow, a 2013 National Performance Network Wesley V. Montgomery Memorial Mentorship & Leadership Award winner, and 2015 and 2017 City of Philadelphia Performances in Public Spaces grants recipient. She is also a Philadelphia Arts & Business Council Designing Leadership Program Graduate.
“LaNeshe has all of the traits we were searching for in a new executive director,” says board president Jason Lindner. “She has leadership and community building experience, is a strong and unifying voice in the Philadelphia theatre scene, and is trusted as someone with integrity and insight. And what’s more, she is just an inspiring person to be around. I can’t wait to see what she does in this role.”
As a leader, LaNeshe will be joining Theatre Philadelphia at a pivotal time when they are seeing significant opportunities for evolution, including restructuring of the board, and the launching of a new strategic plan.
“I see LaNeshe as someone poised to help unify local artists and assist in efforts of lifting up the community in a time of great need,” says Lindner.
Miller-White will begin in the executive director role in August. “I’m really looking forward to using this unique moment in time to solidify Theatre Philadelphia as THE service organization for theatre in the region and to use that position to lead the way to a more equitable and diverse theatre community,:” she said.
ABOUT THEATRE PHILADELPHIA
Theatre Philadelphia is an organization dedicated to bringing together and celebrating Philadelphia’s diverse and growing theater community. The organization is committed to leading efforts that grow audiences and promote the public’s participation in this community’s work. For more than 25 years, Theatre Philadelphia has been the administering organization of the Barrymore Awards, our region’s most prestigious theatre awards. Over the past 4 years they have added a major regional theater event known as Philly Theatre Week, which has boosted community and audience interaction. With these initiatives, Theatre Philadelphia adds professional development and a hub for job listings, marketing efforts surrounding theater in Philly, and speaker series events to connect theatres with tools to reach new audiences. Theatre Philadelphia envisions a region that celebrates a growing theatre community – supporting local theatre artists, fostering the creation of extraordinary work, forging stronger connections between art and audiences – recognizing that a diverse, robust, and thriving theatre community plays a pivotal role in making Philadelphia a world-class city.