Broom Street Theater has a new creative force behind the curtain.
Heather Renken is replacing Callen Harty as artistic director of Broom Street. Harty served in the position for five years before announcing his resignation in April. He plans on pursing other creative opportunities.
Renken was approved for the position in a unanimous decision by the board, and she began her duties in October. Renken earned her bachelors degree in theater from Butler University, and then found theatrical work across the country in Chicago, Denver and other cities.
Locally, Renken has worked with StageQ, Children's Theater of Madison, Madison Theatre Guild and Broom Street. She has taught theater classes at the Northeast YMCA in Sun Prairie and volunteered at Proud Theater, the youth theater program that promotes and supports the LGBT community.
In addition, Renken is one of the founding members of the Kathie Rasmussen Women's Theater, a nonprofit group that seeks to showcase women's artistic voices both on and off the stage. Renken served as its program director.
Her Broom Street work goes back to 2006, when she made her writing and directing debut with Oh God, There's Baptists at the Door. In 2008, she wrote and directed Shiny Things, and her third play, A Woman on Paper, debuted this year.