The Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) announced today that Alex Rodriguez and Susan Baer Collins will lead the organization as its next Co-Artistic Directors, effective Monday, Oct. 2, 2023.
“We are thrilled to have Alex and Susan at the helm of the artistic direction at OCP,” said OCP Executive Director Rebecca Noble. “As we continue the strong start to our 99th Season, it was an important decision to implement a co-artistic leadership team that will support our staff and community members. With Susan’s reputation and legacy in the theatre community and Alex’s breadth of theatrical experience and passion for community representation, OCP is beyond fortunate to have the best of both worlds with these individuals as we look ahead to our 100th anniversary and the future.”
A Cuban American theatre director, actor and educator, Rodriguez is a multi-hyphenate collaborator whose work ranges from new-work development to large-scale productions. He is passionate about representation and uplifting the voices of those through untold stories. His work has been recognized for its innovation and humanity, and he believes in the power of storytelling to ignite thought, conversation and change.
“I’m grateful and appreciative of the opportunity to spearhead OCP’s artistic direction alongside Susan as co-artistic directors,” said Rodriguez. “I look forward to furthering collaborations with Susan, Becky, OCP staff members and the vibrant theatre community to ensure a creative outlet and a sense of belonging for all of those who share their time and talents with our organization.”
Baer Collins’ relationship with OCP dates back to 1979 when she became a member of the Nebraska Theatre Caravan’s acting company. She joined as an OCP staff member in 1987 and served for 27 years as the Associate Artistic Director. As a longtime Omaha actor and director, Baer Collins received the Nebraska State Governor’s Artist of the Year Award with her longtime colleague Carl Beck in 2014.
“I love OCP and all the amazing people who give it life and energy with their exceptional talents,” said Baer Collins. “I hope that my former experience at the Playhouse may serve to usher us into a stronger, creative future as it’s vital to make amends and prove ourselves trustworthy to individuals in the theatre community. I’m also looking forward to working with Alex, who has a wealth of theatrical talent and skill, as well as his kind, generous and collaborative demeanor.”
Rodriguez has served as the Associate Artistic Director since March 2023 and made his OCP directorial debut this season in Clyde’s and will direct Cabaret in 2024. Baer Collins served as the organization’s Interim Artistic Director from 2015 to 2016 and again in January 2021 to November 2021.