RS 900
February 27, 2023
Marc Glazer, Marketing & Communications Director
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Sheridan believes “It’s an excellent time in company’s evolution to begin the next chapter”

After over a decade and a half of extraordinary leadership, hard work, and tremendous artistic and financial success at Children’s Theater of Madison, Roseann Sheridan has announced her retirement effective at the end of this season.

“This feels like the right time for the company and for me. There is a tremendous staff here, an effective board, and a solid foundation to support the next chapter of the company’s evolution. I’m exceedingly proud of what I’ve accomplished since coming to CTM in 2006, and deeply grateful for all the support along the way. It’s only because the company is healthy, strong, and vibrant that I would even consider stepping away,” says Sheridan.

Sheridan was hired as Producing Artistic Director in September 2007. She rebuilt the company following its near-collapse in 2006 growing it financially, artistically, and operationally. She held the combined artistic and financial leadership role for eight years until it was possible to hire co-leader Allen Ebert in 2015.

Since 2007, Sheridan has continued to strive for artistic excellence alongside fiscal responsibility. “I’ve always made it clear that we have to work within our resources,” says Sheridan. This tenet has served CTM well to bring it to its current state of high regard among constituents, supporters and staff.

“Most of all, I am truly honored to have positively influenced the lives of youth through the experience of theater. Having been here this long, I’ve literally watched them grow up, develop confidence, self-assurance, and mature from childhood to adulthood, all while gaining an appreciation for theater. And many have pursued theater in college and as a career.”

Sheridan takes pride in having transformed what to expect from “children’s theater”. She says, “I believe in honoring the minds and hearts of young people and creating exceptional productions that stand up to the highest artistic standards. They deserve that, and they recognize it both as young performers and audience members.” CTM’s A Christmas Carol, the company’s signature production, reflects these high standards and the impact on audiences; this year’s production grossed more than any show in the company’s history.

CTM Board President, Arlen Moss, shared the Board’s gratitude for Sheridan’s leadership and artistic excellence. “Roseann is widely regarded as both progenitor and creative visionary of today's CTM. Roseann has also helped to steward the theater company's embrace of justice, equity, diversity and inclusion values and principles. Her signature style and expertise have left an indelible mark on theater and the Arts in Wisconsin and beyond. We are honored and inspired by her service to the community.”

Says Allen Ebert, Executive Director, “We are excited for Roseann and also for the future of CTM. It’s a pivotal moment for the company and thanks to the work of Roseann and the support of our community CTM is poised for the future. Discussions are underway for the transition to a new artistic leader. A national search will be launched. We will ensure information will be available soon about those plans.”

Sheridan was instrumental to the vision and realization of the new Madison Youth Arts Center (MYArts), which provides a permanent home for CTM. “It’s a remarkable accomplishment, and one I share with Allen (Ebert), the leaders of Madison Youth Choirs (Mike Ross & Lynn Hembel) and Diane Ballweg (chair of the Capital Campaign). It’s a tangible legacy of years of dreaming and planning. And it’s really an unrivaled facility that ensures CTM’s future and the future of the arts for Madison’s young people and families.”
Sheridan joined CTM following 17 years at American Players Theater (APT) where she was instrumental to that company’s growth as well. She attributes her artistic aesthetic, high standards, and fiscal savvy to her years at APT. Her ability to attract exceptional adult talent to work alongside local youth is also a result, in part, to relationships formed during her years at APT. For example, APT core company actor Marcus Truschinski will be playing Captain Hook in CTM’s upcoming production of Peter Pan, which Sheridan will be directing.

As for her plans after retirement, Sheridan says “Madison is my home. Theater has been my life. It’s hard to imagine not getting up in the morning or going to bed at night without thinking about what shows to do, what actors to cast, what classes to offer, how to raise funds, attract audiences, create exceptional art, develop engaging educational experiences… I’m sure it’ll take a while to find a new normal, but if there’s anything this pandemic has taught us all it’s how to adjust, adapt, and reinvent ourselves!”

Her retirement date is slated for August 31, 2023.

History and timeline:
Sheridan came to CTM in 2006 upon hearing that the company was on the brink of collapse. She had been at American Players Theater for 17 years and had an extensive network of connections with artists and arts supporters. She approached philanthropist and community leader Terry Haller, who was spearheading an effort to raise money to save CTM financially; Sheridan proposed that she be brought on to direct and produce a new production of A Christmas Carol. She was successful – as was the production of A Christmas Carol which featured veteran APT actor Robert Spencer as Ebenezer Scrooge – and she was rehired to produce and direct To Kill A Mockingbird in spring of 2007. That production was also an artistic and financial success. Once Sheridan saw the potential at CTM and the impact of her work on young people, she decided to apply for the newly formed Producing Artistic Director position at the company and was hired full-time in September 2007.

For eight years, Sheridan handled both the financial and artistic leadership of the organization, creating and managing budgets, raising money, working with the board, directing shows, overseeing educational programs, and more. The company grew from a $500,000 operation to $1.5M. Productions expanded to 5 mainstage shows per year tripling attendance, and educational programs including school matinees grew exponentially – summer camps drew in over 500 students and generated 1/3 of the company’s revenue, serving kids from pre-K to grade 12. It became clear that a senior leadership partner was needed to focus on administration, fundraising, and facilities.
Sheridan recruited Allen Ebert who was hired to co-lead the company in 2015. Since then, the two have worked together to build infrastructure, audience, and operations. Most notably, they teamed with the co-leaders of Madison Youth Choirs (Mike Ross and Lynn Hembel) to get the new Madison Youth Arts Center financed and built, creating a permanent home for operations for CTM and MYC.

CTM has been part of Madison since 1965 and was led almost single handedly by Nancy Thurow for nearly 40 years. The company has been debt-free since Sheridan was hired in 2007.


About Children’s Theater of Madison Serving the Madison community since 1965, CTM's mission is to create vibrant theater experiences that engage, educate and inspire young people and their communities.

Inclusion is at the core of CTM's policies, programs and people, working to create an environment where all feel welcome, valued and connected. The CTM community celebrates visible and invisible differences in identity, gender expression, age, culture, ethnicity, race, sexual orientation, physical ability, learning style, religion, occupation, nationality, immigration status, socio-economic status and life experiences that span these differences.

CTM has been a resident organization of Overture Center since it opened in 2004 and also now makes its home in the beautiful, new MYARTS at 1055 E. Mifflin St. on Madison’s near east side.