Unicorn Theatre announces new artistic director Ernie Nolan

July 1, 2024 Kaylynn Mullins

Ernie Nolan

After an impressive 45-year run, Cynthia Levin is stepping down as Artistic Director at The Unicorn Theatre. The new director, Ernie Nolan, takes the reigns on July 1. Nolan possesses over 20 years of experience within the arts field and brings a passion for storytelling and inclusivity to this position.

Nolan will be coming to Kansas City after being the creative director at Nashville Children’s Theatre, where he brought forth an era of diversity that highlighted BIPOC artists more than ever during his leadership. “Like Unicorn, my career has been about developing new stories or remixing familiar stories for contemporary audiences. For me, it’s about creating mirrors and windows–opportunities where audiences either see themselves on stage or experience something they never knew existed. I can’t wait to continue that work at my new artistic home,” says Nolan.

Nolan has worked in theatre nationwide, and this won’t be his first time working with Unicorn Theatre. He choreographed one of his favorite projects, La Cage Aux Folles, there in 2007. Nolan says, “For decades, Kansas City artists have created magical, moving work on Unicorn stages. I am honored and excited to now contribute to that.”

Nolan’s impressive background includes winning New City’s Play of The Year Award for his work Love and Human Remains in Chicago and directing Tony-nominated artists. Known for his thought-provoking and bold plays, Nolan is excited to bring his expansive experience to Kansas City, “I can’t wait to join Kansas City’s vibrant and thriving artistic community,” Nolan says.

“Ernie’s artistic vision perfectly aligns with Unicorn Theatre’s, and his leadership style, coupled with his warm personality, will ensure the theatre remains a hub of artistic collaboration and growth in Kansas City,” says  President of the Board of Directors, Sally Everhart.