Chris Coleman Announces His Final Season as Artistic Director

Posted 14 November 2017

Board Chair Ted Austin announced today that Artistic Director Chris Coleman will depart Portland Center Stage at The Armory at the end of the 2017 - 2018 season to become artistic director of the Denver Center for the Performing Arts (DCPA) Theatre Company.

“Chris Coleman’s impact on Portland Center Stage at The Armory for the past 17 years has been transformational,” said Board Chair Ted Austin. “Under his leadership, the theater has grown from a locally respected company producing six plays a year in a rented facility, to a nationally recognized leader in the field, producing eleven plays annually in two theaters in our beautiful home, The Armory. Audiences have more than doubled in size, and our budget has grown from $3 million to more than $10 million. It is no surprise that other theaters would see him as a strong candidate to bring new strength to their company, but it is still with a heavy heart that we wish him the best in his new adventure.”

“We are fortunate that Chris will be with us through the rest of the season, as the board and staff craft a vision and carry out a search for our next artistic leader. He has two more projects to direct this season (Astoria: Part One and Part Two and Major Barbara), several more to produce, and will lead the company through the rest of this season,” noted Austin. “We look forward to spending time with him over the next few months, and celebrating with him the continued success of Portland Center Stage at The Armory.” 

A message from Chris Coleman, Artistic Director: 

Chris Coleman Headshot 200

It is with a lot of excitement and a bit of a heavy heart that I share the news with you that I’ve accepted the position of artistic director at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts Theater Company (DCPA Theater Company). The current 2017 - 2018 season will be my last at Portland Center Stage at The Armory.

It has been the honor of my life to lead Portland Center Stage at The Armory for the past 17 (and a half) years, and one of the hardest parts of this decision was knowing that I would be leaving a city, a company, colleagues and friends that I have come to cherish deeply.

Looking back over my time in Portland, I’m proud of the audience growth we’ve seen, the resonance we hear the work is having with our audiences, the renovation of The Armory into a new home for the company (walking in the door and seeing people inhabit that magical lobby still gives me shivers), the progress we’ve made in welcoming new and more diverse audiences to the theater, and particularly the number of new plays we’ve helped bring to life.

In Portland, I learned to ski, to love hiking, to ride a bike to work (okay, not in a while), and became not only a dog-lover, but a dog-devotee.

But mostly I'll treasure the relationships that I’ve built being a part of this journey. It will be the hardest part of parting. The upside of the transition is that a new artistic director will be walking into one of the most beautiful theater spaces in America, with an adventurous audience that is growing, strong financial health, a generous board and a superb leadership team that is ready to ride.

I look forward to spending time with you in the theater throughout the rest of this season, and thank you for the support you’ve offered to me and to Portland Center Stage at The Armory through the years.

With fond regards,
Chris Coleman

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