Changes at Pyramid Theatre

Above: “Art forces you to want to dig deeper,” says Tiffany Johnson, Pyramid’s newly named producing artistic director. Photo: Jami Milne.

By Christine Riccelli


As Pyramid Theatre Company prepares for its fourth season, the company has announced changes that reflect its impressive growth: Tiffany Johnson has been named producing artistic director, a full-time position she’ll begin Feb. 15. Co-founder Ken-Matt Martin is stepping down as executive director to focus on his new job as producing director of Williamstown Theatre Festival in New York.


Martin, who’s been the public face and spokesperson for the local company even while earning his MFA in directing at Brown University, will still be involved in an advisory capacity. “He can’t not be hands-on,” says Johnson with a laugh. “We’re still a part of his family.”


Johnson has been involved with Pyramid since its founding in 2015, serving as artistic director. In her new role, she’ll work with newly named managing director Alexis Davis to handle the day-to-day responsibilities of running the company. Currently, they’re preparing for the 2019 season’s two shows: a classic play to be announced in mid-February, and Too Heavy For Your Pocket,” which chronicles the journey of four Freedom Riders and was written by Pyramid co-founder Jiréh Breon Holder, now a writer for NBC-TV in Los Angeles. The plays will be performed on an alternating basis June 7-27 at the Des Moines Civic Center’s Stoner Theater.


Johnson and Davis also plan to boost Pyramid’s community outreach, work with other local organizations, and offer educational programs and workshops. Johnson notes that as people like Martin and Holder move on to careers elsewhere, the opportunities for collaboration with national theater groups and professionals increase, serving to strengthen Pyramid even further.


Pyramid “has always had a succession plan,” Johnson adds. “We’ve been training and grooming each other since the beginning. We continue to push each other … and are committed to each other as colleagues, friends and the family we choose.”


To learn more about Pyramid and the company’s leadership, read this story from the dsm archives.

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