Ian Belknap Announces his Departure

The Acting Company announces that Ian Belknap will end his tenure as artistic director on December 31, 2021. Ian joined The Acting Company in 2008 and has been the artistic director since 2012. Under his direction, the Company has remained unwavering in its founding mission to develop excellent young actors by producing a mix of classic and new plays on tour and in New York City.  

Ian’s considerable talent and charisma have made him the complete leader, not only in his artistic vision and direction but also in guiding our fiscal and fundraising activities. We are grateful and will miss him in so many ways.”  – Earl D. Weiner, Chair, The Acting Company Board of Trustees


The hallmark of Ian’s tenure was programming repertories that connected the past and the present which recently included Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure and Nambi E. Kelley’s Native Son, which won the 2019 Audelco Award for Best Play. This repertory followed Julius Caesar paired with Marcus Gardley’s X: or, Betty Shabazz v. The Nation, which Ian commissioned and directed. It toured nationally, played for an extended run off-Broadway, and The New York Times called the repertory “a stroke of curatorial inspiration”.  

Because we are all adopted children of The Acting Company, it was like the younger brother was put in charge of the family business and he THRIVED. Stepped right into the driver’s seat of a historic company and helped it evolve while maintaining the principles of its foundation. Bravery and Brilliance come to mind when reflecting on Ian’s tenure. I’m just as sad to see him go as I am excited for his and the company’s next chapters. Take wings Young Belknap.” – Roslyn Ruff, Company member and Obie Award-winning actress.

The Acting Company turns 50 in 2022, it’s a good time for an influx of new energy and to give myself a new challenge. Leaving is difficult as the Company has been my home. It is a magical theatre full of people who support the idea that actresses and actors are the foundation of the theatre.” – Ian Belknap

Ian directed and produced many national tours and off-Broadway productions for the Company including Hamlet, The Comedy of Errors, Romeo and Juliet, Of Mice and Men, As You Like It, and Love’s Labor’s Lost. To help produce this work onstage, Ian guided partnerships between the Company and The New Victory, Resident Ensemble Players, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, The Juilliard School, Teachers College, and together with Margot Harley, oversaw a long-term collaboration with The Guthrie Theater.

I am very sad to contemplate Ian’s decision to leave The Acting Company. We have worked together for 13 years and I thought he was the perfect person to replace me as Artistic Director. He has been splendid with endlessly good ideas and he has been a remarkable mentor for the actors. His enormous talent and energy is reflected in the accomplishments of The Acting Company during his tenure, I wish him great success and wherever he goes next they will be lucky to have him.” – Margot Harley, Co-Founder, The Acting Company