HomeIndian AmericanEast West Players artistic director leaving for another LA theater

East West Players artistic director leaving for another LA theater

The Center Theatre Group in Los Angeles announced today that its named East West Player artistic director Snehal Desai to the same position at its theatre.

Desai has been with the East West Players since 2016. The Center Theatre Group said in its announcement that it chose him out of more than 100 applicants from around the globe.

“We were delighted to have found our next artistic director right in our own backyard. The work Snehal has been doing just down the street has been nothing short of astonishing, and we are overjoyed to welcome him to our Center Theatre Group family,” the Center Theatre Group Search Chair Gail Berman said in a statement.

It called him an “ideal and invigorating leader” who is “bold and resourceful” and it is excited to see him “pave the way forward” for Center Theatre Group.

He will be alongside Center Theatre Group Managing Director / CEO Meghan Pressman who the Center says will “usher in a new chapter” following what it called “one of the hardest chapters in the history of not just Los Angeles theatre but theatre around the globe.”

During his 7 years at East West, Desai helped bring David Henry Hwang’s Soft Power to the Ahmanson Theatre and the recent Kristina Wong, Sweatshop Overlord at the Kirk Douglas Theatre.

The East West Players, founded in 1965, is the longest-running Asian American theater group in the country.

“This is a bittersweet moment for East West Players,” said EWP Board Chair Rose Chan Loui said in a statement posted on Facebook. “Under Snehal’s artistic and executive leadership, EWP has achieved incredible national recognition. We will absolutely miss having him at the helm. At the same time, the appointment of Snehal to Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group highlights the positive results of EWP’s almost six decades-long efforts to raise the visibility of AAPI artists.”⁠

Desai called his time at East West “one of the greatest joys of my life,” describing it as his “first true artistic home.” He will stay in his current position through June.

AsAmNews has reached out to both Desai and the East West Players for additional comments. We’ll update this story as information becomes available.

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