ARC Announces New Co-Artistic Producer


ARC is pleased to announce that Resident Artist Deborah Drakeford, a vital member of the company for more than 15 years, is now taking on the role of co-Artistic Producer of the company. Deborah has been a Toronto based actor for over 30 years, and an educator for almost 20 years. With one-half of our dynamic leadership team in place, we are also pleased to announce our search for co-Artistic Producer number two.

This changeover in leadership and leadership structure comes as the company enters its 21st year of making work that is innovative, rigorous, energizing, and bold. After seven years as Artistic Producer, Christopher Stanton has decided to leave his position in order to pursue other creative opportunities. Deborah Drakeford states, “I want to deeply thank outgoing Artistic Producer, Christopher Stanton, for his outstanding leadership. His generosity, artistry, and smarts will forever be a part of ARC’s legacy.”

Outgoing Artistic Producer Christopher Stanton expressed his thoughts this way: “Words can’t express what a true honour it’s been to work with Toronto’s most talented ensemble of theatre-makers for the past seven years. I couldn’t be more proud of where we’ve taken this company together. From MOMENT to POMONA to OIL and so many more – what a body of work we’ve created together! I am so grateful for the opportunities that my role with ARC has given me in terms of artistic and personal growth. And the friendships I’ve made with this team of incredible artists will last a lifetime. However, I felt it was time for me to move on, and to create space for new voices within the artistic company. As a longtime friend, colleague, and collaborator, I can truly say that Deb is the ideal person to lead ARC through this period of transition, and into the future. I can’t imagine a more talented and capable artist to whom I’d want to pass this torch, and I cannot WAIT to see what’s next for this incredible company.”

ARC is committed to embracing, celebrating and living the diversity of our community. Our new Artistic Producers will work in a shared partnership as part of our effort to bring different views, perspectives and voices to our company, to our community and to our audiences. That, and Deborah really wants to work with someone who can and will positively contribute, challenge and inspire in taking on this collaborative leadership role.

On behalf of the Board of Directors, Mark Mullaly, Board Chair says “We are absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Deborah as co-Artistic Producer of the company. Deborah is a longstanding member of the resident artist team, who embodies the very DNA of ARC and what makes it such a unique, collaborative ensemble. We’re excited about pursuing this leadership role as a partnership, and bringing a new voice and perspective to the ARC leadership team. We enthusiastically look forward to ARC continuing to foster and present the innovative works, new perspectives and diverse voices for which it is known. Credit and sincere thanks go to Christopher Stanton for the strong foundation he has established during his tenure as Artistic Producer, and our very best wishes for success in his new ventures.”

Deborah Drakeford: “I am thrilled and honoured to be taking on the role of co-Artistic Producer of ARC, a company that I have lovingly been a part of for more than 15 years. As we, along with theatre companies around the globe, navigate our ways through life with Covid, experimenting and reinventing, I am very excited to discover who we are in this new world. I am equally excited to collaborate with and be challenged by a new voice. I can’t wait to find out who my partner in this enterprise will be!”