An Off-Broadway Legend

The Challenge

Signature Theater is a 30-year-old off-broadway theater with a unique mission; to celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Their unwavering dedication to this mission has seen them through exponential growth, expanding from a single value to the operator and flagship tenant of a Frank Gehry-designed, multi-stage arts center on West 42nd Street. With growth comes challenges, paired with the passing of the theatre’s larger-than-life founder, Jim Houghton, the theatre was having a bit of an identity crisis and needed a new story to rally around.

The Task

Brand Story and Messaging
This story, built on conversations with staff, playwrights, artists, and funders, documents, press, performances and more, is some of the work I am most proud of. Not only is a true, relevant and differentiated but it is actionable for communications staff across the organization.


Theatre reflects us and connects us. It has the power to transform each of us, individually, as well as all of us, collectively. At the center of powerful, resonant theatre is the storyteller whose world we bring to life at Signature Theatre.

At Signature, everything we do is aimed at creating the highest quality theatre for all. Our residencies cultivate artistic excellence and commit to storytellers through giving them an ongoing artistic home. We connect diverse voices to engaged audiences through our innovative, affordable ticket initiative and transformative education programs. Our home, the Pershing Square Signature Center, is a nerve center of the performing arts in New York, a resource and a respite for artists, audiences, and our community.

We believe theatre brings us together. We make theatre together. We experience theatre together. We advance theatre together. Together, we are Signature Theatre.

Brand Architecture After defining Signature’s new story and brand platform, they needed to understand how to deploy their messages across their programs and partnerships. I created a brand and messaging architecture to empower both marketers and non-marketers easily use the tools of the new brand.

  • Client: Signature Theatre
  • Agency: Carbone Smolan Agency
  • Role: Strategy Director
  • Methodologies: Stakeholder Interviews, Desk Research, Competitive Audit, Workshop
  • Launch: Spring 2017