The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis is excited to introduce Amelia Acosta Powell as its new associate artistic director.Beginning on June 17, Acosta Powell will join The Rep’s new artistic leadership team headed by Augustin Family Artistic Director Hana S. Sharif.Acosta Powell most recently served as line producer at Oregon Shakespeare Festival, a Tony Award-winning organization that stands as one of the preeminent destinations for American regional theatre. Before that, she worked as the casting director and artistic associate at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. A graduate of Georgetown University (where she dual-majored in theatre and Spanish), Acosta Powell’s wide-ranging artistic career includes producing and directing plays throughout the D.C. area.In 2017, American Theatre magazine named her as a rising star in the industry as part of its “Theatre Workers You Should Know” series.“Amelia is an extraordinary producer and a talented director that is a joyful addition to the artistic team,” Sharif said. “I look forward to collaborating with her in creating captivating theatre that captures the indomitable spirit of St. Louis.”“I’m very humbled and honored,” Acosta Powell said. “Hana is an inspiring and galvanizing leader who is both compassionate and persistent. It was an easy ‘yes’ when she offered me this role. The more that I’ve learned about the work at The Rep, the more excited I am to be a part of this organization and the city of St. Louis. It’s ripe with opportunity.” Acosta Powell will succeed Seth Gordon, The Rep’s associate artistic director of nine years, as he moves on to pursue new opportunities outside the organization.Acosta Powell says that she expects to spend much of her first year in St. Louis on a “listening tour,” learning more about the theatre and the city as she focuses on building The Rep’s outreach into the community. Her day-to-day work will include serving as a facilitator and liaison between The Rep’s artistic leadership, guest artists and staff.She’s most excited about the work that will happen on The Rep’s intimate stages.“What I love about theatre is being live in the room together,” Acosta Powell said. “I love to engage in the dialogue that happens when you’re at a play that doesn’t necessarily happen at a movie or other entertainment events. I love when the story that’s being told on stage is impacting the people in the room. Whether it’s loud laughter or groans of recognition at something cringeworthy, that kind of really visceral response is unique and thrilling.”One of Acosta Powell’s Oregon colleagues can’t wait to see what happens next in her career.“Amelia is a sophisticated artist, intrepid producer, and an exemplary leader who has had an extraordinary impact on the evolution of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival,” said Mica Cole, repertory producer at Oregon Shakespeare Festival. “Her appointment as associate artistic director of The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis makes me not only ecstatic for the future of The Rep, but for the seismic shift Hana and Amelia will undoubtedly bring to the field at large.”
Lynn Venhaus has had a continuous byline in St. Louis metro region publications since 1978. She is a Rotten Tomatoes-approved film critic, currently reviews films for Webster-Kirkwood Times and KTRS Radio, covers entertainment for PopLifeSTL.com and co-hosts podcast PopLifeSTL.com…Presents, and writes features and news for Belleville News-Democrat and contributes to other publications. She is a member of CCA, AWFJ and St. Louis Film Critics Association. She is a founding member of the St. Louis Theater Circle.