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Reaching across the country for a new leader, Lowell’s Merrimack Repertory Theatre has named Courtney Sale, currently the head of Seattle Children’s Theatre, to be its new artistic director.

When she starts work in March, Sale will become the first woman to serve as artistic director at Merrimack Rep. Sale succeeds Sean Daniels, who left Merrimack Rep last May after four years to become the head of the Arizona Theatre Company.

“MRT is one of the most important organizations for new work in the country,’’ Sale said in a statement, adding that she is “overjoyed’’ at the chance to help “author the next remarkable chapter of this dynamic theater’s story.’’ In a statement, Merrimack Rep executive director Bonnie J. Butkas hailed Sale’s “deeply thoughtful and joyful approach to artistic leadership and connections to playwrights across the country.’’

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Sale’s appointment represents the second high-profile artistic director job in the Boston area recently filled by the head of a children’s theater. Michael J. Bobbitt took over in August as head of Watertown’s New Repertory Theatre after more than a decade leading Adventure Theatre MTC in Maryland.


Don Aucoin can be reached at donald.aucoin@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @GlobeAucoin.