Toomsen named Theatre Cedar Rapids artistic director

Stephen Mally/The Gazette

Director Angie Toomsen (left) talks with Jesse Flaherty (center) as they rehearse “Billy Elliot The Musical” at Theatre Cedar Rapids on June 13. After a nationwide search, Toomsen has been named artistic director at Theatre Cedar Rapids, beginning Jan. 15.
Stephen Mally/The Gazette Director Angie Toomsen (left) talks with Jesse Flaherty (center) as they rehearse “Billy Elliot The Musical” at Theatre Cedar Rapids on June 13. After a nationwide search, Toomsen has been named artistic director at Theatre Cedar Rapids, beginning Jan. 15.

CEDAR RAPIDS — Angie Toomsen has been named artistic director at Theatre Cedar Rapids, beginning Jan. 15. Toomsen, 45, of Iowa City, was chosen from a national field of 100 candidates.

Skywalk Group, a Cedar Rapids-based recruitment agency, spearheaded the search efforts.

“We are deeply pleased to welcome Angie’s artistic leadership to TCR,” Patrice Carroll, Theatre Cedar Rapids board president said in a prepared statement.

“Angie stood out among impressive candidates from around the country, and we are confident in her ability to strategically and artistically steer TCR into the future alongside the staff, board and community.”

A professional creative director and Cedar Rapids native, Toomsen has directed shows at several Corridor theaters for the past decade.

A classically trained singer, she majored in theater at the University of Northern Iowa, then studied with a Broadway program at New York’s Circle in the Square and other prominent studios, turning her attention from acting to directing.

She returned to Eastern Iowa in 2005 and has directed and collaborated with Riverside Theatre in Iowa City, Old Creamery Theatre in Amana, Strayer-Wood Theatre at the University of Northern Iowa, Theatre Cedar Rapids and SPT in Cedar Rapids. She also helped found the collaborative Fourth Room Theatre in Iowa City.

“The mission of Theatre Cedar Rapids runs near to my heart,” Toomsen said. “This organization sparked my love for theater when I was a child and has become even more important to me as an adult as I have witnessed firsthand its enormous impact on volunteers and audiences.

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“I am deeply honored and thrilled to join the board, trustees and phenomenal staff in a shared commitment to the future of TCR as a beacon for potential, inclusiveness and cultural vitality in our community,” she said.

Area arts professionals are singing her praises, as well.

l Katie Hallman, executive director at Theatre Cedar Rapids: “We are fortunate to have found in her an individual with great passion and expertise in the performing arts, paired with a deep love and understanding of our local community.”

l Sean Lewis, artistic director for Riverside Theatre: “Angie has been one of the cornerstones of the corridor theater scene for over a decade, and there is no one who knows the community better or thinks more dynamically in regards to producing theater in Eastern Iowa. I can’t imagine a better choice for TCR.”

l TCR board member and UNI Department of Theatre head Eric Lange: “TCR has always had strong relationships with educational institutions, and continuing to work with Angie in her new role has exciting potential for deepening these connections.”

Toomsen succeeds Leslie Charipar, whose tenure ended in June.

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