Edward A. Martenson

Professor Emeritus of Theater Management


During a career spanning more than thirty years, Edward A. Martenson has been a theater manager, a grantmaker, a teacher, and a consultant.

As a theater manager Martenson helped bring 140 productions to the stage, including 25 world or American premieres and 20 plays by Shakespeare. As Executive Director of the Guthrie Theater from 1986 to 1997, Martenson worked with Artistic Director Garland Wright to rebuild the resident acting company, renovate the theater facilities, increase the endowment from $4 million to $32 million, and set new records for season tickets and giving. As Managing Director of the Yale Repertory Theatre from 1979 to 1982, Martenson worked with Artistic Director Lloyd Richards to reposition the Rep as a teaching theater and institute the Winterfest of New Plays. From 1973 to 1979 Martenson served as General Manager and Managing Director of the McCarter Theatre under Artistic Director Michael Kahn, during the time it separated from Princeton University and established itself as an independent theater institution.

As Theater Program Director of the National Endowment for the Arts from 1982 to 1986, Martenson oversaw more than $50 million in operating and capital grants to theater artists and organizations throughout the country and designed a program to prevent the disappearance of resident acting ensembles.

Since 1997, Martenson has worked with National Arts Strategies to develop executive education programs in conjunction with faculty from schools of business at Harvard, Yale, Stanford, Columbia, and Northwestern. Other consulting clients have included the Alley Theatre, Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and La Jolla Playhouse.