Michael Harrington Joins Theatreworks USA as New Managing Director
After an extensive search, Artistic Director Barbara Pasternack and the Board of Theatreworks USA have announced that Michael Harrington has been tapped to be the new Managing Director of the award-winning 55-year-old organization.
Harrington will take over for Producing Director Ken Arthur who retired this past June after more than 32 years with the organization as a performer, sales manager and Producing Director.
Michael Harrington led New York University's Skirball Center for the Performing Arts as Executive Director from 2007-2015 where he built an identity for Skirball as a distinct venue in New York City and accepted the Drama Desk Award for presenting the Outstanding Unique Theatrical Experience in 2014. Most recently Michael has been the University Director of Arts Advancement at Long Island University. Originally from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, he is a proud graduate of NYU. Professional affiliations include International Performing Arts for Youth, International Society of Performing Arts, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and Autopistes Contemporary Circus Network. He has served on grant review panels for the Rockefeller Foundation's Multi-Arts Production Fund, Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation, and others. His passion for the performing arts and belief in its transformative potential has taken him around the globe working with artists from China, Australia, Germany, Italy, Israel, and more.
Founded in 1962 by Jay Harnick and Charles Hull, Theatreworks USA is America's largest and foremost Equity theatre for young and family audiences. Theatreworks USA's mission is to create imaginative and sophisticated shows that are entertaining and thought provoking, and to ensure that these shows are accessible to audiences across America regardless of geography and socio-economic status. Theatreworks USA has reached over 93 million people in 49 states and Canada, and the company now performs for about two million young people annually. Every year, the company tours approximately ten shows from its ever-growing repertoire of 133 plays and musicals.
Dedicated to new work development, the company has provided early career opportunities to artists like Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty, Christopher Ashley, Ben Pasek and Justin Paul, Jerry Zaks, Michael Mayer, Robert Lopez, Kristen Anderson-Lopez, Tina Landau, Nell Benjamin and Laurence O'Keefe, Joe Iconis, Jason Robert Brown, Mindi Dickstein, Daniel Messe, Mary Rogers, Ossie Davis. Theatreworks USA often provides actors with their first Equity job.
Theatreworks USA's honors include a Drama Desk Award, Lucille Lortel Award, the Jonathan Larson Performing Arts Foundation Award, the William M. Dawson Award for Programmatic Excellence given by the Association of Performing Arts Presenters, and the Medal of Honor from the Actors Fund of America and in 1984 performed its heralded Eleanor Roosevelt musical FIRST LADY at the White House. Their production of THE LIGHTNING THIEF: The Percy Jackson Musical, a full-length general audience musical received rave reviews for audiences and critics and was nominated this season for three Drama Desk Awards including Best Musical, Best Book and Best Supporting Actor. The original cast album broke records for its pre-sale and held the #1 soundtrack spot on iTunes and was #9 on overall recordings on the day it was released.
Committed to making professional theater accessible to all, Theatreworks has, for 29 years produced Free Summer Theatre in New York City. Productions at the Lucille Lortel Theatre include Junie B.'s Essential Survival Guide to School, Skippyjon Jones Snow What; The Lightning Thief (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); Skippyjon Jones (Lortel Award nominee: Best Musical); The Yellow Brick Road (Callaway nominee: Best Choreography); We the People: America Rocks! (Lortel nominee: Best Musical); Click, Clack, Moo (Lortel nominee: Best Musical, Drama Desk nominee: Best Lyrics); and Seussical (Lortel and Drama League nominee: Best Revival of a Musical). Free Summer Theatre is entirely underwritten by charitable contributions from individuals, corporations, foundations, and public support.
"I am very excited to welcome Michael to the Theatreworks family. He is a natural leader with abundant experience, and a real passion for the company's mission. I look forward to our partnership as we embark on the next chapter of creating challenging and inspiring work, expanding our programming and taking the company to new levels of success." Theatreworks USA, Artistic Director, Barbara Pasternack.
"On behalf of the Theatreworks USA board of directors, we are delighted to welcome Michael. We had the opportunity to interview many capable candidates but Michael stood out in the crowd. We loved his vision along with his ability to challenge all of us to achieve greater things for Theatreworks. The board looks forward to working alongside him." Judy Prince, Chair, Theatreworks USA Board of Directors
"I am beyond thrilled to be joining Theatreworks USA - particularly as it celebrates both the continued success of The Lightning Thief and offers yet another summer of free theater to more than 15,000 children across NYC. The opportunity to work with Barbara and build the next phase of the company's journey is humbling and inspiring. Great things are in store for this treasured organization!" Michael Harrington.
Theatreworks USA's current productions are the free summer run of PETE THE CAT, with Book and lyrics by Sarah Hammond, music by Will Aronson, directed/choreographed by Dan Knechtges, running July 19 - August 18, 2017 at The Lortel Theatre (121 Christopher Street). Plus, three-time Drama Desk nominee The Lightning Thief: The Percy Jackson Musical Original Cast Album is now available through Broadway Records and iTunes.