Le Petit Theatre Announces New Artistic Director, Board Leadership

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A.J. Allegra

NEW ORLEANS — Le Petit Theatre has named A.J. Allegra artistic director after a nationwide search led by Management Consultants for the Arts. Allegra joins Don-Scott Cooper, who was promoted as the theater’s producing executive director in 2021. Rounding out the Le Petit leadership team is new board chairperson Janet Daley Duval. 

Allegra comes to Le Petit from the NOLA Project, where he is a founding member and has served as the artistic director since 2008. He was also the head of the theater program at the Willow School from 2014 to 2023, and he taught musical theater at NOCCA from 2007 to 2014.

“I am thrilled that after an extensive national search, we were able to find the next artistic director in our own backyard,” said Cooper in a press release. “I look forward to partnering with A.J. as we continue Le Petit’s recent growth and continue to develop our education and community programs.”

“I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to serve Le Petit Theatre as its next artistic director,” said Allegra. “For more than 100 years, Le Petit has provided the city of New Orleans with live theater at the heart of our city center, and for the past two decades I have had the supreme pleasure of working with the many talented and dedicated artists of New Orleans. It is my goal to keep excellent and groundbreaking theater and theater education at the forefront of our mission while ensuring that Le Petit remains a vital part of our community’s artistic identity for all New Orleanians.”

Duval has been on the theater’s board since 2011. A graduate of Georgetown University Law Center, she served as a federal law clerk in the Eastern District of Louisiana for the Hon. Stanwood Duval Jr. from 1994 until 2017. She has served on the board of directors of the Federal Bar Association. She was also president of the Tennessee Williams/New Orleans Literary Festival, and a member of the board of governors of Le Petit Theatre. She was a founding member of the Young Leadership Council and is a sustaining member of the Junior League of New Orleans.

Along with the current staff and board of governors, the leadership team is joined by new board members Marilee K. Hovet, Mamta Melwani and Helen Young. Brent Barriere and Ned Benjamin return to the Le Petit board this season; and Tommye Myrick, who served last season as a consulting producer, has been added as the newest advisory board member.

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