BY OLIVIA DORFMAN
When Cardinal Stage Company founder Randy White moved to Chicago this past summer, the theater company found itself with not one, but two positions to fill. In anticipation of White’s departure, Gabe Gloden was hired as managing director in November 2016. Now the position of artistic director has been filled by Kate Galvin.
Members of Cardinal’s board oversaw the search and interview process. “It was a competitive, nationwide search. We had more than 100 applicants,” says Cardinal Marketing Manager Rachel Glago. “When I found out he was leaving, it was very hard, but when you look at the organization as a whole, this is going to be a good thing in the long run. Kate is a remarkable woman and has some really wonderful, fresh, new ideas.”
Galvin, 37, earned a bachelor’s of music in vocal performance (musical theater) from New York University, then apprenticed at the venerable Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. “I discovered I loved casting and putting the pieces together,” Galvin says of her time there. She went on to earn her master’s in musical theatre production from Goldsmiths College, University of London.
Returning to the Walnut Street Theatre, Galvin worked for seven seasons casting plays and musicals. “And that’s what led me to directing,” she explains. “I learned directing by osmosis.” For the past five years she has been freelancing as a producer and director, winning the 2017 Barrymore Award for directing the musical Lizzie at the 11th Hour Theatre Company in Philadelphia.
Cardinal’s schedule for the upcoming season will proceed as planned. First up is Sex With Strangers by Laura Eason. “One of the things that attracted me was the mix of mainstream and more offbeat works,” Galvin says. “I think that regional theater is where the exciting work is being done.
While Cardinal will have the same number of shows per season, she plans to direct fewer shows than White did. “I’m looking to diversify the artists, bringing in top notch talent from all over the country—scenic designers, writers, actors,” she explains, and other directors as well. “I want to put Cardinal on the map and make it into a nationally recognized regional theater.”