Episode 109: To Change an Org’s Culture, Rip Off the Band-Aid

Last November, we spoke with Michael J. Bobbitt, Artistic Director of New Repertory Theatre, about approaching major change in an organization. He shares ways to identify organizational culture, support staff work/life balance, and keep a board focused.

Michael Bobbitt. Photo: DJ CoreyMichael J. Bobbitt is the Artistic Director of New Repertory Theatre. He is an arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright. Prior to New Rep, he served as Artistic Director for Adventure Theatre-MTC in Maryland, where he led the organization to be a respected theatre/training company in the DC region and a nationally influential professional Theatre for Young Audiences.

He led the company through a merger, increased the organizational budget by more than 600%, expanded audiences by 400%, commissioned 40 new works by noted playwrights, transferred two shows Off-Broadway, transferred one show internationally, built an academy, and earned dozens of Helen Hayes Award Nominations including eight wins. Bobbitt has directed/choreographed at Arena Stage, Ford’s Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre Company, Olney Theatre Center, Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Center Stage, Roundhouse Theatre, The Kennedy Center, and the Washington National Opera. His national and international credits include the NY Musical Theatre Festival, Mel Tillis 2001, La Jolla Playhouse, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Jefferson Performing Arts Center, and the Olympics. As a writer, his work was chosen for the NYC International Fringe Festival and The New York and Musical Theatre Festival. He has two plays published by Rogers and Hammerstein Theatricals. He trained at Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management, The National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, Certificate in Diversity and Inclusion from Cornell and other top leadership programs. He earned the Excel Leadership Award (Center for Nonprofit Advancement) the Emerging Leader Award (County Executive’s Excellence in the Arts and Humanities), and Person of the Year Award (Maryland Theatre Guide), among others.

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