By Nina Raemont
With a season of uncertainty forging ahead, there is one thing Minnesota theater aficionados can know for sure: Yellow Tree Theatre isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon. But that doesn’t mean that the roles and responsibilities of the Osseo-based organization will stay the same. In fact, Yellow Tree Theatre, the theatre company that shepherds critically acclaimed productions onto their Osseo stage, recently announced a change in artistic leadership.
Announced on Aug. 13, Jason Peterson, the theatre company’s founding artistic director, will be stepping down from his position and Peter Carlson, the theatre’s managing director, will now hold the executive director position. Co-founder, Jessica Lind Peterson, will be Yellow Tree’s new interim artistic director until December when a new producing artistic director will take Lind Peterson’s place.
The Petersons, Jessica with her book that will be released in spring of 2021, and Jason with his new position at a Duluth-based company, will leave the hustle and bustle of the Twin Cities and start something new up north.
Even amidst the chaos of a COVID-19 world, the company claims they remain a “strong organization in good fiscal health,” according to a recent press release. Within the next few weeks, Yellow Tree devotees can expect a season announcement from the company.
“We invited past Yellow Tree artists to pitch us short, creative pop-up shows and are in the process of selecting those. Some will be virtual, some in-person and outdoors,” says Lind Peterson in regards to their upcoming season. “Our goal is to curate a series of vignettes to be presented around town in a safe way, and also to get some money into artists' pockets.”
And in a time when arts companies around the country are faltering from a lack of support, Lind Peterson stressed the importance of local art and asked the Osseo community to continue to bolster Yellow Tree in whatever way is possible.
“Theater enriches the cultural fabric of a community, pours dollars into the local economy and fosters empathy and understanding. We need to care for our arts organization through this. Through this leadership transition, and through the rest of this pandemic, we will continue to ask our donors to give and hope that their love and support for Yellow Tree will remain strong.”