As we look forward to spending time with our families during the upcoming new year, I wanted to share some news and changes that are happening at PTC.
After five years, my tenure with Philadelphia Theatre Company will end at the close of the 2021-2022 season. Like so many of us, my family and I have evaluated our lives during this great disruption and decided that a lifestyle straddling our careers in two cities is not sustainable.
I take with me an appreciation for an active and energized creative community in Philadelphia, and fond memories that include introducing Bebe Neuwirth to PTC audiences in her first return to the stage in nearly a decade, reestablishing the Terrence McNally Award, creating the new annual fundraiser Play Brawl, and commissioning the new musical The Tattooed Lady (set to premiere at PTC in the fall of 2022 and I will be HERE FOR IT!).
I was excited by the challenge of reimagining how Philadelphia Theatre Company could make great theatre as well as serve our community. Now, PTC is ready for a new artistic leader to enact a bold artistic vision, with an expert staff ready to execute that vision. PTC will hire an executive search firm to conduct a nationwide search and our search committee is already having very exciting conversations about what the next chapter holds.
Despite two interruptions in our work – one intentional, one completely unforeseen – we used the time to make substantial and positive changes. PTC prioritized deepening support for the organization, adding 14 new board members and diversifying the board and staff in several areas. We also expanded and codified the company’s policies around harassment, diversity, equity, inclusion and access. During perhaps the most difficult year in my professional life as an artistic director (including the financial meltdown of 2008), we steered the company through the unknown, and a successful pivot during COVID-19 resulted in our digital 2020-21 season, with a notable production of The Wolves, all while setting up this season’s return to live performances. Re-opening this season with two world premieres is a bellwether of our commitment to new work and stories that reflect our time and community.
I am excited to see how Jeffrey Page, our Resident Artist, brings Choir Boy to life in our next production. Casting was just completed and we are so thrilled to bring this major play to Philadelphia.
I plan to continue as an independent theatre producer, based in New York, where my husband, Broadway sound designer Nevin Steinberg, and I spent the pandemic. I look forward to following the projects PTC has been developing.
As I prepare for this transition, I encourage the community and the City of Philadelphia to step up and prioritize the funding and support of arts and culture. I believe that we can lead a much-needed recovery here in Philadelphia. The next two years will be a crucial period for the success or failure of many of our beloved arts institutions.
In closing, I would like to thank our outgoing board Chair, David L. Cohen, who is now the U.S. Ambassador to Canada, having been unanimously confirmed by the Senate (no mean feat, that). At a special board meeting on November 23, Gary Deutsch, formerly PTC’s Vice Chair, received a unanimous vote to succeed him. Gary is excited to lead the company toward its upcoming 50th anniversary, and will work closely with my longtime partner, Managing Director Emily Zeck, and the board to guide PTC. (You can read the full press release here).
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For more information, or to purchase tickets for Choir Boy and Where We Belong, call Audience Services at 215-985-0420. You can also email staff at email@example.com to learn more.