Eric Keen-Louie Named Artistic Producing Director at La Jolla Playhouse

Eric Keen-Louie Was Executive Produce

Eric Keen Louie

Eric Keen Louie

LA JOLLA, CALIF.: La Jolla Playhouse is pleased to announce that Eric Keen-Louie, who joined the Playhouse in 2018, will take on the role of artistic producing director. In this newly created leadership position, Keen-Louie will work closely with artistic director Christopher Ashley and managing director Debby Buchholz on strategic planning processes, organizational priorities, and season implementation. The role serves as a partner to their executive leadership in overseeing the advancement of the organization’s artistic vision, creative strategy, and artistic programming priorities. The position also oversees the development and growth of the Playhouse’s mission, core values, and practices to continually center the organization’s anti-racism and inclusion commitments and create a more diverse, inclusive and accessible workplace.

“For the past five and a half years, I have had the honor of working with the remarkable staff, artists, board members, audiences, and community members who make La Jolla Playhouse the incomparable place that it is,” said Keen-Louie in a statement. “I am thrilled to step into this new leadership position alongside Chris and Debby as we work as a company to safeguard and intentionally build upon our mission to create the new and the next in American theatre.”

“La Jolla Playhouse has always served as a home and breeding ground for new work,” said Ashley in a statement. “Since our doors reopened four years ago, the needs of developing and producing seasons featuring nearly all world premieres have increased exponentially. The evolution of this role has become indispensable to future of the Playhouse, and Eric is the ideal person to take it on.”

Added Buchholz in a statement, “As we look to the future—balancing our artistically driven spirit with the ever-growing and complex realities of creating and producing theatre—Chris and I are overjoyed to have Eric as partner. His unique skill set and industry-wide esteem make Eric the perfect choice for this integral new role at the Playhouse.”

Eric Keen-Louie joined the Playhouse in 2018 as producing director before becoming executive producer in 2021, shepherding such projects as Bhangin’ It: A Bangin’ New Musical, Lempicka, The Outsiders, Is It Thursday Yet?, Here There are Blueberries, Sumo, and The Untitled Unauthorized Hunter S. Thompson Musical. He previously worked at the Old Globe for seven years, where he served as associate producer and later as associate artistic director. During his tenure he helped guide nearly 50 productions, co-created The Powers New Voices Festival, and helped launch the arts engagement programs Community Voices and Globe for All. Keen-Louie spent three years at the Public Theater as the assistant to the associate producer and then director of special projects. Independently, he produced Kingdom and the GLAAD Media Award-winning when last we flew. He also assisted Broadway producer Margo Lion on Hairspray and Caroline, or Change.

He is a recipient of the Edward & Sally Van Lier Arts Fellowship for Producing, an alumnus of American Express’s Leadership Academy, and a member of LEAD San Diego’s Impact 2021 cohort. He serves as secretary for the National Alliance of Musical Theatre’s Board of Directors and chairs the organization’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Accessibility Committee and New Works Committee. He graduated with a B.A. in Dramatic Literature from New York University and an M.F.A. in Theatre Management and Producing from Columbia University, where he received a Dean’s fellowship. He is a proud third-generation Chinese American and is married to Anthony Keen-Louie, a local mediator and associate ombuds at UC Santa Cruz.

Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire, and Mel Ferrer, La Jolla Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting ​120 world premieres, commissioning more than 70 new works, and sending 36 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. As of 2022, the theatre’s budget was around $14.2 million.

Eric Keen-Louie


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