Just days after his organization’s biggest event of the year, the leader of Houston’s biggest faith-based theater group is making his curtain call.
Jake Speck, the executive director of A.D. Players, has announced that this season will be his last. Speck delivered the news to the organization’s board of directors earlier this month, according to a press release.
He arrived in Houston in August 2017 and is credited with leading the company through its transition into the new George Theater, as well as the rebranding and restructuring of the organization to its new moniker, A.D. Players at The George Theater.
Speck, in tandem with artistic director Kevin Dean, has led A.D. Players to its three highest grossing and most well attended seasons in its 54 year history, according to the nonprofit.
He was named one of the 50 Most Admired CEOs of 2020 by the Houston Business Journal and is a Senior Fellow of Class LIII of Houston’s American Leadership Forum.
The former performer also successfully led the fourth-annual A.D. Players After Dinner Affair, a festive “anti-gala” which took place on August 21—the nonprofit’s biggest event of the year and big return to in-person performances.
Next summer, Speck will reportedly head to Nashville, where he will take the role of artistic director at his alma mater, Christ Presbyterian Academy, a leading Pre K-12 college preparatory school there. Apropos to his current role, he will also manage the school’s brand-new, multi-million dollar performing arts center.
His wife, Emily Tello Speck will join him as the Upper School arts director, per a release.
“This was one of the most difficult decisions Emily and I have ever made”, Speck said in a statement. “Houston has been so incredibly kind to us and the A.D. Players community has become our family. But we have been offered a tremendous professional opportunity to work together and return to Nashville, a community we care deeply about and one where much of our family lives.”
Passionate about live performance, Speck recently told CultureMap: “The audience feeds off the performers, and in turn, the performers feed off the rush of adrenaline and enthusiasm of the audience. There’s truly nothing like it.”
Little doubt Speck will bring that enthusiasm and adrenaline to Nashville.