Stuart Carden became the artistic director of the venerable Kansas City Repertory Theatre in September. Now he’s leading the organization while in social isolation due to the COVID-19 outbreak.
It’s been, shall we say, a bit of a challenge.
“I have a masters of fine arts in directing from Carnegie Mellon University, and they definitely did not teach how to lead through a pandemic in grad school,” Carden says with a good-natured laugh.
Carden has big plans for his organization when we ultimately take steps toward the new normal. But he’s fully aware of the challenges posed by the pandemic to the performing arts.
“For the performing arts, this is a profound, profound disruption,” Carden says. “This virus is insidious because it strikes at one of our fundamental human needs, which is to gather.”
There’s much more in this deeply felt conversation, which takes a very personal turn at the end. The attached video is well worth watching.