Richmond resident takes on prestigious artistic director role

An award-winning Richmond resident will be stepping up as the next artistic director of Vancouver’s Green Thumb Theatre starting January.

Rachel Aberle said the new role comes with a “huge responsibility to the company,” but she’s excited to be given the opportunity to help the company grow even more as current artistic director Patrick McDonald will be retiring at the end of the year.

With a background in performance and an active playwright, Aberle has worked as the community engagement coordinator and associate artistic director at Green Thumb for the past five years.

 “I’m just grateful to be stepping up in such a strong company and to take on the responsibility to continue the work and legacy Patrick is leaving behind,” said Aberle.

“During these difficult times, I take this role on with a deep appreciation of the complex challenges the company faces.

The pandemic, she said, has hugely impacted not only Green Thumb, but many theatres and live performances in general.

“In the short term, we’re trying to adapt and think of inventive ways to bring our work to the people we can reach,” said Aberle, adding that they are looking to bring their plays digitally or outdoors to work within COVID-19 restrictions.

“I believe that now, more than ever, young people deserve opportunities to explore the struggles they face on a daily basis.”

When asked if she will continue writing plays after taking on her new role, she confirmed with the Richmond News that she will indeed continue as a playwright on the side and is glad she is able to because of the “adaptable way” the company is run.

© Richmond News