ABOUT

MISSION & VISION

Our MISSION is to create bold theatre within our intimate space that engages community and sparks important conversation.  

Our ARTISTIC VISION is to be leaders in creating art that explores humanity from multiple perspectives and connects the work on our stage to the depth and breadth of the human experience.

 

OUR STORY

In 1991, the Kitchen Theatre Company was created as place where talented and determined young artists could work together and hone their craft. Led by Matt Tauber and Tim O'Brien, the Kitchen Theatre Company’s productions were infused with the high energy and desire for change in how we see the world. Norm Johnson, Jr. held the artistic reins from 1994 to 1997, championing thought-provoking works.

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Artistic Director Emerita Rachel Lampert led the company from 1997 to 2017. Rachel’s passion and experience in creating new works brought the artistic quality and funding to new levels. She used the theatre in exciting new ways, engaging underserved audiences and gave younger artists, especially women, the opportunity to excel.

Lampert retired at the end of the 2016-2017 season, and M. Bevin O’Gara took the helm as the company’s new Producing Artistic Director. O’Gara came to the Kitchen from Boston, where she was Associate Producer at the Huntington Theatre. O’Gara stepped down at the end of the 2019-2020 season. Her experience and artistry extended KTC’s reputation and its embrace of diverse perspectives. Her tenure also marked the theater’s most successful audience levels and financial success. Mid-2020 to the end of FY21, David Winitsky served as Interim Producing Artistic Director of the Kitchen Theatre and guided the organization through the heartbreaking “intermission” caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

In July 2021, Rebecca Bradshaw and Cary Bland Simpson began their tenures as Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director, respectively. Bradshaw came to the Kitchen from Boston, where she was Associate Producer at the Huntington Theatre; Simpson hails from NYC, where she served as Director of Corporate & Special Events at children’s theatrical charity Only Make Believe.

KTC was located at the Clinton House from 1995 to 2009. In 2010, Kitchen Theatre Company (KTC) moved to 417 W. Martin Luther King, Jr. Street, making history by becoming the first theatre company in Ithaca to own its own space. The Campaign for a Bold, New Space, led by co-chairs Percy Browning (KTC Past Board President) and Greg Hartz (CEO Tompkins Trust Company) along with Rachel Lampert (KTC Artistic Director Emerita) and Stephen Nunley (Managing Director) who successfully raised $1.2M to construct a LEED-certified green building with a 90-seat performance venue.

Over its 30 year history, KTC has produced over 200 plays, including 34 world premieres. We have premiered works by Adam Bock, Tanya Barfield, Darian Dauchan, Brian Dykstra, Brian Parks, Rachel Axler, Jason Odell Williams and many others.

We continue to challenge audiences to see the world differently and to engage in important conversations. KTC is committed to producing new work and to being an inclusive, accessible, and actively anti-racist space for artists and audiences.

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OUR PRIORITIES

  • Think boldly, broadly, and diversely

  • Collaborate with exceptional artists

  • Nurture new work and young artists

  • Innovate on and off stage

  • Ignite dialogue

  • Be authentic and responsive

  • Foster inclusivity and accessibility

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OUR CONNECTIONS

KTC, proud to be voted “Ithaca’s Best Cultural Asset” in the Ithaca Times (2018 &2019), strives to create connections and community: connections between the artist and the audience, connections among community members, and connections between our community and the larger world.

KTC’s unique position in the Ithaca and Tompkins County communities allows it to offer local and visiting theatre artists and groups access to the space through our Kitchen Sink Series. Participating area theatre companies including Civic Ensemble, Homecoming Players and Walking on Water Productions.

KTC also collaborates with other theatres outside of Tompkins County, including the Geva Theatre (Rochester, NY) and Boston Playwrights Theatre (Boston, MA).

Important Conversations Happen in The Kitchen