Joel K. Ruark

Festival Curator

Joel recently created a consulting entity (JK Arts Consulting, LLC) specializing in Non-For-Profit management consultation and support.

On June 30, 2023, Joel completed his tenure as the Executive Director of NEW DRAMATISTS, the nation’s premiere playwright development organization, founded in 1949.

In addition to his 26 years on the leadership team at New Dramatists, Joel has held a number of program and management positions in the theatre, as well as other institutions and organizations, including Managing Director of the theatre division of Wind Dancer Production Group, in Association with Disney; Development Director of the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ; General Manager of the Lambs Theatre in NYC; and Literary Manager/Casting Manager for the Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia. He’s also worked with the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival, the Philadelphia Theatre Company, the Pennsylvania Ballet, the Philadelphia Festival Theatre and Actors Theatre of Louisville.

Outside of his theatrical resume, Ruark helped to establish and served as the the Chief Financial Officer for Praxis Housing Initiatives, a supportive housing development agency in NYC, providing transitional housing and enhanced resident services. He has conducted external payroll audits for Workers Compensation and Liability insurers and was a licensed real-estate associate with The Corcoran Group (NYC).

In 2013, Ruark received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Ohio University’s College of Fine Arts.