JUST IN: Kevin Moore will retire as artistic director of Human Race Theatre Company

“His leadership and artistry secured the Human Race’s place as a dynamic and important institution in Dayton,” says Human Race board chair Jaresha Moore Smith

Human Race Theatre Company artistic director Kevin Moore, the talented visionary who challenged Dayton audiences with thought-provoking experiences and championed the creation of new musicals, will retire next year from the troupe he helped establish.

Moore’s departure in June 2022 will come at the end of his 36th year leading Dayton’s premier professional theatre company. He was one of a handful of founding artists assembled to represent the Human Race, founded in 1986 by Suzy Bassani, Sara Exley and Caryl Philips. In fact, Moore was the very first employee, serving as executive director from 1986 to 2011. In 2010, Moore and Marsha Hanna were the first arts team to be given the Ohio Governor’s Award for Arts Administration. He was named producing artistic director following Hanna’s death in 2011.

“It has been my honor to partner with Kevin in leading the Human Race over the last several years,” said Human Race executive director Kappy Kilburn in a release. “I have been so very lucky to get to work with and learn from him before he retires. We look forward to celebrating Kevin over the next year as we transition into the next exciting phase of the Human Race.”

In addition to memorably starring as Don Quixote in the Human Race’s 2009 production of “Man of La Mancha,” Moore directed numerous productions, both plays and musicals. Unafraid to push the envelope while raising the organization’s pedigree, he particularly advocated for gay-themed works, bringing compelling stories to the Loft Theatre stage such as “Angels in America,” “Beautiful Thing,” “Take Me Out,” “Torch Song Trilogy,” “Was,” “Play it Cool,” “Family Shots” and “The Cake.”

He also conceived the Musical Theatre Workshop in 2000 to assist in developing new musicals. Most notably, Gregg Coffin’s marvelous “Convenience” (2002) and David Spangler and Christopher Gore’s melodically sublime “Nefertiti” (2006) are among the best Human Race-supported musicals Broadway deserves to hear. Moore added play development to the troupe’s achievements as well, particularly guiding Michael Slade’s outstanding aforementioned “Family Shots.” Over 30 new works have been developed and 14 world premieres have been produced. He’s also a member of the Dayton Theatre Hall of Fame.

“Kevin is an enormous asset to this community,” said Human Race board chair Jaresha Moore Smith in a release. “His leadership and artistry secured the Human Race’s place as a dynamic and important institution in Dayton. He will be missed but we wish him only the best in his future endeavors.”

The Human Race has launched a national search for Moore’s replacement. In the meanwhile, Moore is preparing to direct the local premiere of Matthew Lombardo’s Tallulah Bankhead-themed comedy “Looped,” which opens next month marking the return to live performance at the Loft Theatre. He also desires to remain in Dayton with his husband, Human Race resident artist Scott Stoney.

“We don’t plan on leaving Dayton,” Moore said in a release. “I expect we’ll do more traveling – especially during the winter. I have a few directing projects ahead of me, and who knows, maybe I’ll get back on the stage for more than just the curtain speech.”

About the Author