Know Theatre of Cincinnati

Announcing Our Next Producing Artistic Director!

Know Theatre of Cincinnati’s board of trustees today announced that Bridget Leak has been named the next Producing Artistic Director of the company. Leak’s tenure begins
May 1, 2024.

A respected director, educator, and creator, Leak is currently the co-founder of Queen City Flash, an organization dedicated to cultivating new work and open access to the arts. Leak brings to
the role a diverse background and deep-rooted connections to local and national theatres including Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, UC’s College Conservatory of Music, Xavier University, as well as Manhattan Theatre Club, Cleveland Playhouse, and Studio Theatre in Washington, DC. No stranger to Know Theatre of Cincinnati, she directed ten Cincinnati Fringe Festival productions (six of which garnered awards) and two mainstage productions. As Producing Artistic Director, she will lead all aspects of the company’s operations, including artistic and production management, financial management, fundraising, marketing, education, community engagement, and diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Leak’s appointment comes at a historic moment for Know Theatre of Cincinnati which celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2022. The board of trustees will officially introduce her to the community at Frontiers Unknown, a fundraiser to benefit the future of Know Theatre of Cincinnati on Monday, May 6 th at
8:00pm at Covington Yard (401 Greenup St., Covington, KY 41011). Ticket information can be found at knowtheatre.com/on-stage or by calling 513-300-5669.

Leak will succeed Andrew Hungerford, who served as the Producing Artistic Director for 10 years with the company. Hungerford was the fourth Producing Artistic Director for the theatre and successfully navigated the organization through the pandemic by producing a full season of at-a-distance programming that provided needed income to artists as well as kept operations running. He directed and designed some of Know’s most successful and beloved productions including Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere, Puffs, and Ada & the Engine. He also designed The Bengsons’ Hundred Days which went on to future life at New York Theatre Workship, La Jolla Playhouse, and a regional tour. Alongside 59 mainstage productions and ten Fringe Festivals, Hungerford is proudest of the 100+ new plays by local artists featured in the Serials! Program, the hundreds of audience members who have been able to attend shows for free through the Know’s Welcome Experiment, the Know’s commitment to paying artists a living wage, and being an integral part of the national conversation about ways to safely produce work in a pandemic.

Today’s announcement concludes an eight-month local and national search, chaired by board president, Kathryn Hoffman with participation from the theatre’s board, staff, key artists, stakeholders, and community members.

Said Leak, “As Know’s next Producing Artistic Director, I am ready to collaborate with our local artists and audiences alike. I want to continue the Know’s long legacy of connecting our region to stories risky and beautiful, told both at the cutting edge or too close for comfort. I want to use our talents and resources to lift up our own artists, so that their stories can flourish and take root. Cincinnati has a vibrant arts community, full of daring artists and passionate audiences, both hungry for the weird, the wild, the bold. I see The Know as the perfect institution for these two forces to intersect.”

“We are thrilled to name Bridget Leak as the new Producing Artistic Director of Know Theatre of Cincinnati,” said Hoffman. “Bridget is the most prepared person in the room at all times. She possesses the talent, organization, and relationships with other artists and organizations that will allow Know to grow our community of artists, donors, and audiences. Her collaborative leadership style will create a new chapter for the organization that will bring new and old audiences back to the theatre. She is a relationship builder by nature and is ready to hit the ground sprinting.”
She added, “This search was exhaustive and comprehensive in scope. I can’t thank enough the stellar search committee, staff, board, and our community stakeholders for their dedication and engagement throughout the search process. The Know is incredibly fortunate to enjoy such a committed community who continually show their love. We encourage everyone to join us on Monday, May 6 th to welcome Bridget and celebrate our next Producing Artistic Director.”

Said Hungerford, “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Bridget on a delightful variety of projects at the Know over the last decade, from Serials! to the MainStage and points in between. I’ve watched her spectacular work at the Fringe and theatres around Cincinnati captivate and move audiences, subverting and expanding expectations of what theatre can be. I’m thrilled to pass the Producing Artistic Director baton of the Know to an artist of Bridget’s caliber and expect this theatrical playground to thrive under her leadership.”

Bridget Leak is a Cincinnati-based freelance theatre director where her theatre company, Queen City Flash is currently an Artist in Residence at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park. Recent directing credits include; Playhouse in the Park (A Christmas Carol, Actually and Off-the-Hill Series), Ensemble Theatre Cincinnati (Maytag Virgin, Queen), Know Theatre (Andy’s House of [blank], 10 time Fringe participant), and teaching and directing at the University of Cincinnati College Conservatory of Music and Xavier University. She was featured in American Theatre Magazine and had her work highlighted in Teaching Theatre magazine, a publication of EdTA. Previous honors include; People’s Liberty Grant Recipient, Cincinnati Art Ambassador Fellowship, SDC Denham Fellow, Lincoln Center Directors Lab alum, Artist in Residence at Robert Wilson’s The Watermill Center, Directing Fellow at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a Sir Gielgud Fellowship finalist and a SDCF Observer (Cleveland Play House and Round House Theatre). Queen City Flash produces two podcasts Zoinks! and Have Monster Will Travel, available wherever you listen. Bridget has her M.F.A. in Directing from the Actors Studio Drama School at Pace University and is a member of SDC. She calls East Price Hill home with her husband, playwright-composer Trey Tatum, small human Wilder, puppies “Pocket” & “Lint”, and her bees. bridgetleak.com