ATC Announces Leadership Transition


DATE: March 23, 2022


CONTACT:  Chip Decker, Executive Director, Laura Rice, Managing Director, Jennifer Kjerstad, Marketing Director, 


(CHARLOTTE, NC) – Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte is announcing the departure of Executive Director Chip Decker, who will leave his post at the conclusion of the theatre’s current season in June.

“I’ve devoted over half of my life to ATC and loved and learned during every moment of it. I am leaving a company that I am insanely proud of with a heavy heart but also one that is pulsing with excitement over what future opportunities may lay ahead. The company is in great hands and is standing on its best financial ground, ever. I really am looking forward to being a patron of ATC!” , Decker said.

He first joined ATC in 1996 as its Technical Director and has been a guiding force in its development into Charlotte’s premier professional contemporary theatre company for adults.

In 2002, Decker became the company’s Artistic Director and in 2004 he oversaw ATC’s transition to its first full-time home at 650 E. Stonewall Street.  In 2018, Decker assumed the Executive Director position and secured its second full time home at the Charles Hadley Theatre at Queens University. 

In his 26-year tenure with ATC, Decker has provided the artistic leadership that’s resulted in numerous local and state professional theatre awards, implementation of several community based projects, created the nationally recognized nuVoices for a nuGeneration play festival and co-created Dual Perspectives the first ever dual venue, collaborative theatre project between an adult contemporary theatre and a professional Children’s Theatre company. 

“Chip’s vision over the past 26 years has kept ATC at the forefront of exciting regional theatres, and we’re forever grateful for his energy and creativity. Thousands of area theatregoers have been engaged, engrossed, and entertained by his work, as well as the countless artists who have benefited from his expertise. He grew a company that is often imitated but never duplicated. We’re excited to see what his next chapter holds,” said ATC Board of Directors Chair, Shannon Reichley.

ATC is also pleased to announce that current Managing Director Laura Rice will succeed Decker as Executive Director on July 1. Rice joined ATC in 2019. A Minneapolis native, she’s served as an administrator and AEA Stage Manager at professional theatres throughout the Midwest, such as Mixed Blood Theatre, Mu Performing Arts, Stages Theatre Company, Park Square Theatre, The History Theatre, and The Guthrie. Rice has a degree in Theatre Arts from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and afterwards held a comprehensive theatre apprenticeship with Williamston Theatre in Michigan. 

 “It’s a bittersweet transition. Chip’s tireless work has carried this company through some tumultuous years and will leave us stronger than ever,” Rice said. “I’m incredibly grateful for his leadership, guidance, artistic vision, and friendship.  I can only hope to give ATC such an impact, and have plans to breathe new life into the company’s practices towards equity, accessibility, and our commitment to contemporary, new works.”

ATC will conclude its Season 33 at the Hadley Theatre at Queens University with HYPE MAN, April 14- May 7, and BECOMING DR. RUTH, the last show Decker will direct as a full-time employee of ATC,  June 2-25.

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Actor's Theatre of Charlotte is permanently closed. For more information, please see the official news release and FAQ. Please support your local theatre companies and we wish you all the very best.