jakub | June 18, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Deeksha Gaur Named Executive Director of TDF


Deeksha Gaur. (Photo by Jacquelyne Pierson)

NEW YORK CITY: TDF, one of the country’s foremost nonprofit service organizations for the performing arts and the operator of the TKTS discount ticket booths, has named Deeksha Gaur to the post of executive director, effective Aug. 7. A co-founder and the current general manager of the theatre reviews platform Show-Score, Gaur succeeds longtime executive director Victoria Bailey.

“After enjoying Tory Bailey’s leadership for 22 years, we knew the bar was set high to find the next great visionary leader for TDF,” said Gwen Marcus, chair of the TDF board of trustees, in a statement. “I’m delighted to say that, after an exhaustive search, we found that person. With her years of experience in both commercial and nonprofit theatre, and her commitment to growing audiences and accessibility for the performing arts, Deeksha is ideally suited to lead TDF in its next exciting chapter. We are beyond thrilled.”

Add Bailey in a statement, “Deeksha’s career-long passion for building audiences, engaging community, and communicating the power of theatre, combined with her skill in using technology to achieve these goals, means she is well positioned to lead TDF into the future.”

In a statement, Gaur said, “For over 50 years, TDF has been leading the charge to increase access for all who wish to participate in theatre, dance, and the live arts. Indeed, under Tory’s steady and steadfast leadership over the last two decades, TDF has lived its mission to eliminate barriers to attendance through its TKTS booths, its memberships, and its Access programs. Now, in our next chapter, we must continue to expand access, while also building even deeper, more meaningful relationships with the diverse communities of NYC so that every New Yorker can feel a sense of belonging, pride in, and ownership of the city’s vibrant theatre and performing arts. Building new audiences for theatre has been a throughline of my career, and I am beyond honored to dive into this urgent work, as the industry continues its post-pandemic recovery, with TDF’s passionate, thoughtful, and purpose-driven board and staff.”

Prior to her work managing Show-Score, Gaur held senior marketing and PR positions at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Two River Theater Company, and Long Wharf Theatre. She has served on the boards of Second Stage Theater, Ars Nova, and Space on Ryder Farm, where she was board treasurer. She will be an adjunct professor at Fordham University this fall, and has guest lectured in arts marketing at New York University, Howard University, and Yale University. She is a recipient of a TCG New Generation Future Leaders grant and the Foundry Theatre’s Producer’s Chair award. She is also a published crossword constructor. Originally from India, Deeksha grew up in London, and now lives in New York with her husband and their two (theatre-obsessed) kids. She has an M.A. (Cantab) in History from Cambridge University and an MFA in Theatre Management from Yale School of Drama.

Founded in 1968, TDF (formerly known as Theatre Development Fund) is a nonprofit service organization dedicated to bringing the power of the performing arts to everyone. TDF’s mission is to sustain live theatre and dance by engaging a broad and diverse audience and eliminating barriers to attendance. ITs programs include the TKTS by TDF discount booths; the TDF Membership program; accessibility programs including open captioning, audio description, autism-friendly performances and the veterans theatregoing program; education and community engagement programs that serve more than 12,000 New York City students annually and thousands of underserved individuals; as well as the TDF Costume Collection Rental and Research Programs.

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