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What Is An Artistic Director?

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An Artistic Director is the head of a theatre or theatre company who has overall say on the artistic direction of the company, the work it does, the actors and artists that it employs and how they proceed throughtout their engagements. The Artistic Director may direct some of the productions of a theatre but may also hire in freelance directors or resident directors or associate directors to work for him or her.

An Artistic Director is seen as the figurehead of the organisation and is generally answerable only to the Board of Directors of the company. In some companies, the Artistic Director is also the Chief Executive Officer and is not answerable to anyone.

An Artistic Director's perspective on the type of work that the company should do will tend to guide the entire organisation and all aspects of the company wil serve the creation of that vision. Or that's the theory at least.

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