Hal Brooks Named Artistic Director of The Pearl's 2014-15 Season
The Pearl Theatre Company has named Hal Brooks as its new Artistic Director, it was announced today by the Board of Trustees. Brooks succeeds J.R. Sullivan, who served as The Pearl's Artistic Director from 2009 to 2013. Kate Farrington, The Pearl's Resident Dramaturg and Artistic Associate, has been Interim Artistic Director since Mr. Sullivan's departure.
Brooks, 47, who is based in Brooklyn, has directed three productions for The Pearl, including its current production of The Rivals, which runs through May 25. He also directed the critically-acclaimed productions of The Bald Soprano (2012) and Figaro (2013) for The Pearl. In addition, Brooks directed Nilaja Sun's Obie-winning No Child..., and the world premiere of Pulitzer Finalist Will Eno's THOM PAIN (based on nothing).
Regionally, Brooks has worked at Dallas Theater Center, Denver Center, Asolo Rep, Two River Theater, Berkeley Rep, Center Theatre Group, Woolly Mammoth, American Repertory Theater, Lookingglass Theater, Long Wharf Theatre and the Old Globe. In New York, he has directed at the Public Theater, Second Stage Uptown, Clubbed Thumb and Partial Comfort Productions, among others. Brooks is also the Artistic Director of the Cape Code Theatre Project and Associate Artistic Director of the Ojai Playwrights Conference, where he has directed readings by Bill Cain and Mona Mansour. In Fall 2010 and Fall 2013, he was a lecturer at Yale College.
"In Hal, The Pearl has found a bold spirit that will bring a fresh perspective to classic theatre," says Board Chair Claudia Oberweger Frank. "Hal's considerable talent and accomplishments as a director, as well as his experience as an artistic director, make him an ideal leader for The Pearl, as we embark on our fourth decade. Hal's commitment to both the classics and our Resident Acting Company is matched with a desire to continue The Pearl's evolution into a destination for the classics in New York City."
"The Pearl is a New York institution and a national gem, and I'm honored to be part of its future," Brooks said. "For 30 years, the company has earned its reputation as a leader in producing the classics. This company is also a family of artists, and in my case, I mean that quite literally." (Brooks's wife Rachel Botchan has been a company member for 15 seasons).
"I aim to connect our company's great body of works with new audiences, new partners, new artists, and new territory. My long-range artistic vision is to bring my new play development experience to the classics, commissioning a talented roster of playwrights to create new translations and adaptations from the classical repertory and embracing a wider circle of plays into the fold of what we call a classic." Brooks plans to expand The Pearl's association with other classically-oriented companies including Shakespeare Society, The Acting Company, Gingold Theatrical Group and Fiasco Theater.
Brooks begins his tenure by directing the final production of The Pearl's 30th anniversary season-the second season in its new home on West 42nd Street-the romantic romp The Rivals by Richard Brinsley Sheridan.
The Pearl's 31st season ranges from the 17th century to the 20th beginning with UNCLE VANYA, Anton Chekhov's heartbreakingly funny masterpiece of frustrated dreams and restless souls in September 2014. The season continues with George Bernard Shaw's MAJOR BARBARA, a daring and delightful comedy of money, love, and weapons manufacturing. The Pearl opens 2015 with Shakespeare's fantastical THE WINTER'S TALE, a playful story of love lost and found, and of a family cruelly destroyed and, eventually, magically saved. The season concludes with Molière's wicked farce, DON JUAN, in which a deliciously immoral man seeks to seduce the entire world-and he just might succeed.