RLT Welcomes New Executive Director: Heather J. Strickland!


Heather J. Strickland

The Raleigh Little Theatre Board of Directors is pleased to announce the selection of Heather J. Strickland as the new Raleigh Little Theatre Executive Director. Strickland comes to RLT from the North Carolina Partnership for Children (NCPC), the organization that leads the statewide Smart Start network, where she has been the Communications and Development Director since 2013. 

In her role at NCPC, Strickland led a network-wide rebranding effort and created and implemented fund development strategies for the organization. Prior to joining NCPC in 2013, she was the Director of Communications for the NC Department of State Treasurer where she oversaw all communications, branding, and marketing strategies for the agency, including the North Carolina Retirement Systems, the State Health Plan, and the Local Government Commission. She also previously served as the Marketing Director for Carolina Ballet. 

Strickland brings with her over 15 years of extensive experience and success in developing organizational strategy and branding, fundraising, and cultivating engagement for nonprofit and public service organizations. She has been involved with RLT since 2005, starting as a volunteer and stepping into the roles of director, teaching artist, and board member over time.

Strickland was selected from a wide variety of talented applicants, following an extensive national search conducted by Armstrong McGuire & Associates in partnership with RLT’s Board of Directors. RLT’s Artistic Director, Patrick Torres, has served as Interim Executive Director since the departure of prior Executive Director Charles Phaneuf in late January 2020. Strickland begins her tenure at Raleigh Little Theatre on June 17, 2020.

“For months, our Search Committee worked tirelessly to identify the best candidate to succeed Charles Phaneuf as Executive Director. We are very pleased and assured we have found the right person for the job,” said RLT Board President Phyllis Parish. “Heather is a champion for the arts and art education. Her passion for community theatre is contagious. The Search Committee and Board are confident Heather has the skills, experience, and vision needed to guide RLT. The theatre will continue to thrive under her bold, inspiring leadership.” 

RLT’s Artistic Director Patrick Torres added, “Heather has been a friend and influential member of the RLT community for a long time, and during this rigorous search process, she has proven without question that she is the right leader for our organization. As we face the challenges of COVID-19, her vision, passion, and commitment to our community will help us grow stronger than we have ever been.”

Of her new role, Strickland shared, “RLT has been my theatre home and family for a while now. I am incredibly honored to be joining a team that I have long admired for their talent, dedication, and passion. While these times are filled with uncertainty, one thing I am sure of is that we will all need art and our community to heal. I am proud and excited to lead an organization that is committed to excellence in both.”

A welcome reception for Strickland will be planned in the coming weeks once social distancing restrictions are lifted and RLT can safely reopen to the public.