Pederson Leading Playhouse into Connected Future

POTTSTOWN PA – Back in March, Steel River Playhouse launched “Healing on High Street,” a diversity-based storytelling project that debuts in 2022. In April, it laid out plans for a return to the theater’s popular student summer camps. During September, it staged events to commemorate Arts MontCo Week. Next week (Oct. 8 and 10) it presents Shakespeare’s comedy, “A Midsummer’s Night Dream.”

Supporting it all is recently named managing director Rita Pederson (at top), who’s no stranger to the inner workings of the theater at 245 E. High St. She’s been part of the playhouse “family,” according to its board of directors, for several years as a parent, volunteer, and former development director.

Pederson and others involved with Steel River said they patiently waited out 17 months of coronavirus-imposed shutdown, but also saw it as a chance to review the organization’s needs and future direction. The board, which appointed her Aug. 30 to the executive position, said it considered Pederson “well-positioned to help lead the team into the future.”

“The last year has brought home the importance of connection and inclusivity,” Pederson said. “I look forward to working with the staff and community to make Steel River Playhouse a safe space to share ideas, come together, and tell our stories.”

Playhouse Artistic Director Leena Devlin appreciates that attitude. “Rita brings creativity, intelligence, and compassion to everything she does. She is passionate about our mission, and I couldn’t be more excited to have her in this position,” Devlin said.

There’s more in store at Steel River in the near future,” its volunteers agree. Fall classes in dance, music, and theater arts, for children and adults alike, are already under way. Additional performances – including music, comedy, plays, and musicals – are nearly ready to be announced.

For the most up-to-date information, Pederson asked the public to follow Steel River Playhouse on its social media platforms; or send an e-mail to

Photos supplied by Steel River Playhouse