Sahli ready to get started as MCT’s new artistic director

Midland Community Theatre Artistic Director Adam Sahli poses for a photo Wednesday at the Yucca Theatre in Midland. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

For Adam Sahli, getting to continue his career in the Permian Basin is an exciting opportunity as the new artistic director at Midland Community Theatre is eager to get started.

“It’s great,” Sahli said. “It’s one of those things that I’m excited for. I grew up in South Dakota. I’ve worked really hard but I’ve been blessed to travel the country and the world, working professionally as a director and working in theater. There’s a part of me that will always be the kid that grew up in a farming and ranch community and to be able to bring my professional work into a community that’s similar to home, it’s really a passion piece.”

Sahli, who was named the new artistic director back in April, has since made the transition to the Tall City.

He will soon begin directing his first play ‘Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” which will open in September.

A meet-and-greet was held Wednesday at the Yucca Theatre for Sahli.

He talked about what drew him to the job at MCT.

“It’s one of those things that the community, despite the southern location, is very similar to my hometown where I grew up,” Sahli said. “That is something that’s exciting. I have two young sons so it was important for my wife and I to move to a community that feels like home and is a good place to raise kids. Midland is one of the five largest community theaters in the country. It really is a special place with a lot to offer and a lot of opportunity. It’s a rewarding and amazing opportunity.”

Midland Community Theatre Artistic Director Adam Sahli poses for a photo Wednesday at the Yucca Theatre in Midland. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

Sahli will be working closely with MCT Executive Director Tim Jebsen in his new position until Jebsen’s departure in 2026 in which Sahli will ideally serve as the next executive director.

Sahli was previously the artistic director at Round Barn Theatre in Nappanee, Ind., for the past three seasons.

Prior to joining Round Barn Theatre, Sahli served in a multitude of theatre and non-profit capacities including professorships with Huntington University and Minnesota State University, vice-president of the board at Arena Dinner Theatre, development director and director of digital programming for Audiences Unlimited where he stewarded the organization’s selection for its first National Endowment for the Arts Grant.

Professionally, in theater, Sahli is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society (SDC), and has worked across the country including residencies with The Guthrie Theatre and Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Despite the MCTs many successful shows and educational programs over the years, there will always be challenges just like with any community theater and Sahli talked about some of the obstacles he anticipates as artistic director.

“One of the things that happens is, in any theater, professional or community, times and things change,” Sahli said. “You can’t do the same shows every year. It’s making sure we can provide to the community what they’re looking for. That’s an exciting thing. There can be a lot of changes over a five-year period so it’s about reaching the community through shows that interests them. I’m very excited. Hopefully, within the next month, we’ll be able to announce our 2025 season with some new pieces that will be coming that will draw the general attention and also are shows that speak to the Midland spirit and heart. There are plenty of things that I look forward to in the future.”

Currently, Midland Community Theatre is undergoing renovations which includes an expanded lobby and more space for its educational department. Sahli is excited to take over as the renovation work continues.

“After seeing the architectural drawings and everything, it’ll look very nice once it is all done,” Sahli said. “We’re in for a treat because we’re going to be holding one of the gems of theaters across the country. … It’s exciting to see that and it’s going to provide a lot of great opportunities. Having a big lobby like that will allow us to do pre shows so pairing our educational programs — the Pickwicks — we can give little concerts or they can perform before a show so that just adds another element to what we are able to do in the community.”

Sahli holds a BA in musical theatre from Northern State University, an MFA in theatre direction from Minnesota State University-Mankato and is a graduate of the Foellinger Foundation’s Leadership Development Initiative – Rising Leaders Program.

Midland Community Theatre Artistic Director Adam Sahli poses for a photo Wednesday at the Yucca Theatre in Midland. Michael Bauer|Odessa American

As a director, his favorite projects have included “Oklahoma,” “Eurydice” and “Big Fish.”

He talked about some of the shows he hopes to put on at Midland Community Theatre.

“I’ve always had a soft spot for golden age musicals,” Sahli said. “I’ve directed ‘Oklahoma’ and I want to direct it again. But there are many new shows that have been on Broadway like ‘Big Fish’ which is a fun show. So it’ll be a blend of new Broadway-style shows to the golden age (and) looking at shows that are not musicals but can speak to the interests of the community. It’s no one thing but it can be exciting for the community to see both new and old shows.”

Auditions for “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels” will take place July 14.

“I’m very excited,” Sahli said. “It’s a funny piece … one of the things I like about it is that it has a sense of crafts humor. If you’ve seen the movie, it stars Michael Caine and Steve Martin. It has that zany Steve Martin-feel to it. It’s always fun to have something that is, for lack of a better term, frivolous. That’s what that show is. If you’re looking for a laugh, that’s the show to see.”

For more information on upcoming MCT shows, go to