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ICT founding director: ‘It has been a wonderful journey’

January 21st, 2011 · No Comments · News, theater, theatre

Shashin Desai, International City Theatre’s founding artistic director, says he is stepping down “so that ICT has the chance to grow and become stronger under a new generation of leadership.”

Shashin Desai, International City Theatre’s founding artistic director, says he is stepping down “so that ICT has the chance to grow and become stronger under a new generation of leadership.”

International City Theatre’s (ICT) founding artistic director Shashin Desai has announced to the board of directors that he will step aside as of Tuesday, March 15. ICT general manager caryn desai [sic], who is also Desai’s wife, has been unanimously approved by the board to take the reins of the 25-year-old organization.
“This is not a retirement,” explains Desai, who founded ICT in 1985. “I have always felt that an organization needs to be about more than the vision of just one individual. I am stepping aside so that ICT has the chance to grow and become stronger under a new generation of leadership.
Under Desai’s guidance, International City Theatre has grown from a 99-seat, black box theater on the campus of Long Beach City College to become a premier professional theater company at the Long Beach Performing Arts Center. ICT has attracted critical acclaim and multiple awards including the Los Angeles Drama Circle’s prestigious Margaret Harford Award for “Sustained Excellence in Theater.” In December, ICT concluded its 25th anniversary season with a balanced budget, despite the weakened economy.
“It has been a wonderful journey,” wrote Desai in his letter to the board. “I am extremely proud that we have completed our 25th anniversary season with a balanced budget. This is also the time for me to pack up my bags of wonderful memories and step aside to give way to new ideas, new enthusiasm, new vision, new and better talent to take this extraordinary theater to new heights.”
His wife says the transition is at once difficult and exciting for her. “Shashin and I have always been partners, and together we have lived and breathed ICT, both at work and at home,” she said. “He has built ICT into what it is today. My challenge will be to continue that legacy.”

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