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User Spotlight: Philip Crosby, Richmond Triangle Players

“What I find most rewarding is being at the theater and watching a full house of mainstream play-goers really affected by the unique stories we get to tell.”

Philip Crosby, Managing Director, Richmond Triangle Players (RTP)

Tell us about you and your organization.

I joined the Board of RTP in 2001, and became the company?s first full-time Managing Director in 2009.

With thirty years of experience leading nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, I?ve been a professional marketer, publicist, fundraiser and strategist for Cleveland?s Great Lakes Theater Festival, Boston Shakespeare Festival, TheatreVirginia, and Richmond Ballet. During my career, I?ve had the great good fortune to work with some of the most celebrated names in theatre, film and dance, including Tom Hanks, Olympia Dukakis, Hal Holbrook, Alfred Drake, George Abbott, Ruby Dee, Graciela Daniele, Gerald Freedman, Bart Cook and Maria Calegari.

What is the focus of your work and the need you are addressing? How is your work having an impact on our community?

Richmond Triangle Players delivers adventurous and entertaining theater as the leading voice in the community?s explorations of equality, identity, affection and family, across sexual orientation and gender spectrums. We are the only full-time, professional theater company producing this kind of work on a regular basis in the mid-Atlantic region. But we think this unique voice is especially needed in Virginia, since our battle for equality is still very much ongoing.

What do you find most rewarding about your work?

Being at the theater and watching a full house of mainstream play-goers really affected by the stories we get to tell. Whether it?s watching couples ? gay and straight ? hold hands during the tender moments of La Cage aux Folles, or hearing the raucous laughter during a comedy like Regrets Only, or seeing people wrestle with the intersection of religion and sexual orientation that we feature in our entries in the Annual Acts of Faith Festival.

Tell us about your biggest accomplishment at RTP.

The biggest accomplishment was probably getting the new venue up and operating three years ago.  That was such a paradigm shift in our operations, that I am still amazed we pulled it off!  And there were an awful lot of people involved who made that happen. But it completely changed our company, our responsibility to our community and our commitment to our audiences.

What are some major challenges you have faced at RTP and how did you handle them?

There are always more tickets to sell and more contributions to be raised. You can never rest on your laurels. Theater by its very nature is ephemeral. You cannot assume you can repeat your successes one show to the next. All you can do is make sure your standards remain high and you provide your audience with the best possible experience you can.

What?s coming next for your organization that really excites you?

We have some thrilling collaborations brewing, including the first Oscar Wilde play we will have produced ? The Importance of Being Earnest, directed by Jan Powell in a co-production with Henley Street Theatre and Richmond Shakespeare. And we are developing a new piece of educational theater in collaboration with TheatreLAB focused in young people?s coming out stories.

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