Announcement: New Managing Director, Nightwood Theatre

Nightwood Theatre is proud to announce the appointment of our new Managing Director, Beth Brown, a transition several months in the making. She replaces Denyse Karn, who is leaving at the end of this season to return to her roots as a freelance designer and producer.

Denyse Karn’s history with Nightwood Theatre began in the 1980’s when she designed the original production of Good Night Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet. She has been Managing Director of Nightwood since 2010, and in addition to her leadership as a senior manager of the company, she has received wide acclaim for her set and costume designs for productions including The Penelopiad and The List.


Artistic Director, Kelly Thornton said, “I salute my colleague, Denyse Karn for her immense contribution to Nightwood Theatre and I wish her all the best in the future.”

Effective July 1, 2014, Beth Brown will take on the role of Nightwood Theatre’s Managing Director. Since graduating from the National Theatre School of Canada in 1998, Beth Brown has worked in theatre as a Stage Manager, Technical Director and Production Manager for various theatre companies in Ontario, overseeing a multitude of productions including national and international tours. Beth was appointed General Manager of Theatre Direct in 2010 after overseeing Theatre Direct’s creation of a fully equipped theatre and education space in the Artscape Wychwood Barns. As General Manager for Theatre Direct, Beth has supported many award winning productions including Binti’s Journey adapted by Marcia Johnson from the novel The Heaven Shop by Deborah Ellis, Sanctuary Song by Abigail Richardson-Schulte and Marjorie Chan, Old Man and the River by Lynda Hill and Thomas Morgan Jones and most recently Theatre Direct’s inaugural WeeFestival of Theatre and Culture for Early Years. Beth sits on various committees for the Professional Association of Canadian Theatre (PACT) including the Finance and Labour Committees and is a Board Member for Eldritch Theatre Company.

Commenting on the appointment, Nightwood Theatre’s Board Chair Karon Bales said, “The Hiring Committee was extremely impressed with Beth and believes her to be an excellent fit for the organization. She is smart, passionate and committed and we are delighted to have her join the Nightwood team.”

Kelly Thornton added, “I’m truly delighted to have Beth join Nightwood as our Managing Director. She possesses a calm strength and directness that is her signature and I’m thrilled to collaborate with her, build upon our success, and chart an exciting course for Nightwood’s future.”

In accepting her appointment, Beth Brown said, “I am both excited and honoured to have this opportunity to work with Kelly Thornton, the board of directors, and the staff at Nightwood Theatre. Having worked for Nightwood in the past I have always admired the high artistic quality of the work and appreciated how the mission and mandate of the organization has affected myself as a theatre professional as well as the many female artists that Nightwood Theatre has supported. It is truly an honour to follow in the footsteps of those who have built this organization into Canada’s largest professional women’s theatre company.”