Meet Our New Artistic Director – Next Act Theatre

Meet Our New Artistic Director

Next Act Theatre is pleased to announce that Cody Estle has been hired as our new Artistic Director. Cody was hired after a four-month national search and will assume the role on December 1, 2022. He will overlap outgoing Producing Artistic Director David Cecsarini for before fully taking over leadership of the company in spring 2023.

Cody became the Artistic Director at Chicago’s Raven Theatre in November 2017, where he had previously served as the Associate Artistic Director. He directed 13 productions during his tenure at Raven Theatre: those productions have been nominated for Jeff Awards for Best Production and Best Director and have been named “best of Chicago theatre” by Windy City Times and the Chicago Tribune. He also has directing credits with Northlight Theatre, Strawdog Theatre, Shattered Globe Theatre, First Floor Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, The Artistic Home, Haven Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre and Citadel Theatre. Cody is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC) and is an alumnus of Columbia College Chicago.

“I am honored to become the Artistic Director of Next Act Theatre and to shepherd its legacy into the future. I look forward to building on the great work of David Cecsarini while opening the doors for even more individuals to participate in the theater’s great programming,” said Estle. “I’m excited to collaborate with the dedicated Board, staff, and artists to produce excellent theater for the people of Milwaukee.”

Next Act Theatre’s staff and Board of Directors are excited to welcome Cody and look forward to the artistic transition.

“The decision to offer Cody Estle the position was clear. He has demonstrated the ability to direct plays, plan seasons and work with Actors’ Equity and other professional organizations in the theater world. He’s articulate, thoughtful and we the right person to lead Next Act forward.” said David Anderson, President of the Next Act Theatre Board of Directors.

Cody will join David overseeing the continuing 2022-23 season during the transition period, begin planning the 2023-24 season and meet members of the Next Act community.

You will have a chance to meet Cody at The Retirement Roast of David Cecsarini on Sunday, December 11, 2022 from 6 – 9 p.m. Cody will also be present at other events and performances starting in December.

We hope you will join us in welcoming Cody to the Next Act Theatre family!