FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2024

CONTACT: Kevin O’Connell

Email: [email protected]

Mobile: 301-351-1358

Perisphere Theater Appoints New Artistic Leadership

Gerrad Alex Taylor and Lizzi Albert to serve as joint artistic directors

Silver Spring, Maryland (Feb. 15, 2024)  Montgomery County-based Perisphere Theater has appointed Gerrad Alex Taylor and Lizzi Albert as co-artistic directors, effective April 1, 2024.

In their first year, Taylor and Albert will prioritize expanding Perisphere’s audience, diversifying its donor base and securing a regular performance space. “We look forward to deepening our relationship to Montgomery County by producing thought-provoking, beautifully acted plays that investigate history and humanity,” Taylor and Albert said.  They will announce a two-play season for 2025 in the coming month.

Outgoing artistic director Kevin O’Connell commented, “It’s been a privilege to lead Perisphere Theater since 2019, and I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished during this time. Lizzi and Gerrad are the perfect team to lead the company into its next phase.”

Board president Kia Hunter added, “We are excited and confident that, under their leadership, we will continue to grow as a unique destination for stories of those most underrepresented in the theater. Lizzi and Gerrad’s passion and experience will take our work to a new level and bring our work to a wider audience. Let’s get started!”

Gerrad Alex Taylor is an award-winning director and multidisciplinary theater artist based in the greater Baltimore region and an assistant professor in the Department of Theatre at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. In 2021 he was named one of Baltimore’s “40 Under 40” by the Baltimore Business Journal. In 2020, he founded Chesapeake Shakespeare Company’s Black Classical Acting Ensemble, an affinity space for Black artists in the region interested in examining the classical canon. He has worked as an actor, director and educator for theaters and educational institutions across the country, centering his work on creating space that preserves and celebrates the history and culture of the Global Majority. In 2021, he directed Time Is On Our Side, by R. Eric Thomas, for Perisphere Theater. Gerrad holds an MFA in acting from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and a B.A. in neuroscience from Johns Hopkins University.

Lizzi Albert is a director, actor, and teaching artist who directed Perisphere’s 2023 production of Hazardous Materials, by Beth Kander. Other directing credits include This Historic Night (Seed Productions/Capital Fringe 2018), A Christmas Carol and The Tempest(Chesapeake Shakespeare Company), and an all-female Macbeth (Notre Dame of Maryland University). Acting credits include Avant Bard’sJulius Caesar, Constellation Theater Company’s Absolutely! Perhaps, and several productions with Chesapeake Shakespeare, where she is a company member. Lizzi is interested in creating intimate, expressive, psychologically insightful theater that allows audiences to both see their own experiences reflected on stage and be inspired to seek out new ones. She holds an M.A. in acting from the University of Essex and a BFA in theater from New York University.

About Perisphere Theater: Founded in 2015 by Heather Benjamin, Perisphere Theater produces plays that examine personal and collective history and the notion of history itself. We strive for a theater experience that gives audiences a greater appreciation of history and of those who are often left out of its retelling. In 2023, the Washington Post included Perisphere on its list of small companies worth bookmarking as a “thought-provoking company.” The company has received four Helen Hayes Award nominations in the past two seasons and won the 2023 Helen Award for Outstanding Lead Performance in a Play (Jaucqir LaFond).

For additional information, visit Perisphere’s website. Perisphere’s next production is The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess, directed by Kevin O’Connell. It will run March 8 – 23 at the Silver Spring Black Box Theatre.

Hear Gerrad and Lizzi’s interview on Dex Kinsman’s Theater District podcast.