The Jungle Theater announced the appointment of Sarah Rasmussen as Artistic Director, effective July 1, 2015. Rasmussen was chosen after a nationwide search to fill the role Jungle founder Bain Boehlke has held since 1991. “I am so proud of the thoughtful search process undertaken by our committee, and thrilled with the decision by the committee to name Sarah Rasmussen as my successor at the Jungle,” said Boehlke. “I have every confidence that this theater will be in excellent hands under her leadership, and that she will be a wonderful addition to the Twin Cities’ theater scene.”
Rasmussen directed the Jungle’s “In the Next Room” in 2012, which won the IVEY Award for overall excellence. She served as assistant director for the same show on Broadway. Locally, she also has directed shows for Mixed Blood Theatre “Crashing the Party”, Ten Thousand Things Theatre “The Seven”, and at The Playwrights’ Center.
Nationally, she has directed and developed new work at the Humana Festival, Marin Theatre Company, O’Neill Playwrights Conference, La Jolla Playhouse, Hangar Theater, SoHo Rep Writer/Director Lab, PlayPenn, Women’s Project Theater, The Lark, and many others. This spring she is directing a new adaptation of Jane Austen’s “Sense and Sensibility” for Dallas Theater Center.
Rasmussen is a 2011 Princess Grace Award Recipient and served for three seasons as Resident Director for Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab, a new work development program. Last season, she directed “The Two Gentlemen of Verona,” OSF’s first all-female Shakespeare production. A native of South Dakota, Rasmussen first began directing theater in her home town of Sisseton as a teenager, inspired by the shows she had seen at Children’s Theatre Company and the Guthrie Theater. She graduated summa cum laude in 2001 from St. Olaf College with a B.A. in theater and English and earned an MFA in directing from the University of California San Diego.
Board chair Jeffrey Bores said that the search committee, consisting of current and past board members and key artistic stakeholders, received far more applications for the position than anticipated. “The artists and audiences in the Twin Cities are truly extraordinary,” said Rasmussen. “This town is the place that inspired me to become a director. Bain has created an exquisite theater-going experience, and I look forward to building on that legacy, inviting audiences to experience stories both familiar and new.”