Omaha, NE.–After serving as artistic director for four-and-a-half years, Kimberly Faith Hickman has announced she is leaving her role at the Omaha Community Playhouse (OCP) at the end of 2020. Hickman plans to return to OCP in spring of 2021 as a guest director for the highly anticipated production of Willy Wonka and to teach for OCP’s Henry Fonda Theatre Academy.
Susan Baer Collins will serve as the interim artistic director upon Hickman’s departure until OCP completes a nation-wide search for the organization’s next artistic director. Baer Collins held various positions on staff at OCP from 1987 to 2014, most notably associate artistic director. She also served as an interim artistic director at OCP from 2015 to 2016.
“I am very proud of the programmatic, artistic and educational growth that has occurred at OCP during the last four-and-a-half years,” said Hickman. “I have collaborated with incredible people, both onstage and off, and the Omaha Community Playhouse staff is among some of the best that I have worked with in my 18 years of working in theatre. I look forward to those collaborations continuing in this new capacity.”
“Kimberly brought an enormous amount of creativity and passion to OCP over the last four years,” said Katie Broman, Executive Director. “She has contributed so much to our organization in many positive ways. We appreciate all of her hard work, and we wish her the absolute best in any and all future endeavors.”
Hickman joined the OCP staff in 2016 and quickly became a driving force in the organization. In addition to programming four seasons and directing 19 productions, Hickman established the OCP Directing Fellowship, a program that provides up-and-coming directors the opportunity to gain valuable directing experience. She worked with Autism Action Partnership to develop sensory-friendly performances, designed to create a welcoming environment for those with autism spectrum disorders, sensory sensitivities and other special needs to experience live theatre. She coordinated Spanish-translated performances, offering real-time translation services during popular productions via headset. Hickman also rebranded OCP’s existing education department as the Henry Fonda Theatre Academy.
OCP will commence a nation-wide search for the organization’s new artistic director. “We are committed to hiring an artistic director who is both exceedingly talented and passionate about leading OCP into our next 100 years of service to the Omaha community,” Broman said. “We will seek the most qualified candidates who share OCP’s values of inclusivity, artistic and educational impact, excellence, stewardship and community.”