Pittsburgh Public Theater Welcomes Shaunda Miles McDill as the Next Managing Director

The Public has announced that Shaunda Miles McDill, will be the Public’s next Managing Director. She will assume the role later this month and share organizational leadership of The Public with her producing partner, Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski

Shaunda McDill at the Pittsburgh Public Theater. (Photo by Asia Margo)

“We conducted a comprehensive regional and national search, and Shaunda’s extensive experience in arts administration and the non-profit sector coupled with her innovative, strategic thinking made her an outstanding candidate,” Pittsburgh Public Theater Board Chair Angela Blanton said. “She is committed to advancing the arts both locally and nationally, and we’re confident her exceptional leadership will guide The Public to a successful future.”

McDill has strong ties to theater and has studied under Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson, been directed by Ntozake Shange, and instructed by Augusto Boal. McDill holds an MFA in theater management from Yale University’s School of Drama. With experience spanning dramaturgy, directing, producing, and playwriting, she also has worked as a publicist for Blake Zidell and Associates, a Brooklyn-based public relations firm representing artists, arts institutions, and festivals. In 2006, she founded DEMASKUS (www.demaskus.com), a national theater collective currently participating in the inaugural B.U.I.L.D. residency at the August Wilson African American Cultural Center supported by the Richard King Mellon Foundation. As an individual artist, McDill worked in residence with Quantum Theatre as part of the company’s inaugural InQubator class.

Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski and incoming
Managing Director Shaunda McDill. (Photo by Asia Margo)

“Shaunda has been an inspiring, passionate collaborator, and I know she will be an extraordinary partner as we launch into The Public’s next chapter together. She brings a remarkable skillset and proven expertise in non-profit arts producing, philanthropy, and community-building that will catalyze our vision to serve Pittsburgh as a true public theater,” Artistic Director Marya Sea Kaminski said. “She has a long, dynamic history of service to this community, and I know she will be a remarkable leader and advocate for The Public.”

As a leader in the arts, Shaunda has extensive experience and, since 2017, has been program officer for arts and culture at The Heinz Endowments. She also co-managed the Advancing Black Arts in Pittsburgh initiative, which received a $2 million grant from novelist and philanthropist MacKenzie Scott in 2021. Additionally, McDill contributed to the foundation’s first cross-programmatic social justice initiative, Just Arts, which she helped to found, and the Arts|Equity|Reimagined fund aimed at providing an informed, equitable, and actionable response to the needs of the local arts community during and beyond the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside her colleagues, she was instrumental in fortifying the role of the Endowments’ Creativity Strategic Area in utilizing art to combat stereotypes and improve outcomes for veterans as part of the foundation’s Rethink Vets campaign. Most recently, she led the $10 million Pittsburgh’s Cultural Treasures initiative, part of the Ford Foundation’s America’s Cultural Treasures regional challenge program.

“What a privilege it is to return to regional theater as part of The Public at this particular moment in time,” McDill said. “Pittsburgh Public Theater has been a touchstone for the arts in the region for nearly 50 years. I look forward to working alongside Marya, the Board of Trustees, and the talented artists and administrators of The Public to position it for another 50 years of artistic excellence, which includes centering community as we strive to become a true public theater.”

In Pittsburgh, McDill previously served as programming and cultivation vice president at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. She managed all artistic and educational programs and produced the City’s first Black Dance Festival. As the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Director of Public Relations, she oversaw national and local public relations campaigns, including the North American premiere of Florentijn Hofman’s Rubber Duck Project, which generated more than $10 million in direct spending in the City. She has directed operations at her home church, Macedonia Church of Pittsburgh, in the Hill District and served as a consultant to Community Empowerment Association in Homewood. 

She is a member of the Alpha Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. She is in service to several local and national organizations and boards, including the Office for Public Art and Jada House International. She is married to Homewood native Sager McDill and is the proud bonus Mom to four children, Matthew Levi McDill Murray (10), Maria & Melanie McDill (16), and Sager McDill, Jr. (19).

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1 reply

  1. Shaunda is an amazingly creative artist and business woman. Pittsburgh Public Theatre will be better for having her create there!

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