Following four successful years as The Pearl Theatre Company's Artistic Director, J.R. Sullivan has decided to step down on July 19th. Sullivan will relocate his career base to Chicago, where he will be getting married this fall, and will return to freelance directing, as well as writing and teaching. The Pearl's Board of Trustees has acceptEd Sullivan's decision with regret and has launched a search for a new Artistic Director to lead the Company into its fourth decade. Longtime Pearl staff member and dramaturg Kate Farrington has been appointed Interim Artistic Director.
Board Chair Claudia Oberweger stated, "The Pearl's Board regrets Jim Sullivan's decision to return to Chicago. Jim has been an outstanding Artistic Director and made numerous important contributions to The Pearl. Under Jim's leadership, The Pearl's productions have been widely acclaimed for their excellence, and the company's visibility in the New York City theater community has increased dramatically. Jim oversaw the company's successful move to a beautiful new permanent home on West 42nd Street in the fall of 2012. The entire Pearl family wishes him continued professional success"
Sullivan said, "I have greatly enjoyed my time with The Pearl Theatre Company. As Artistic Director for the past four seasons I have had the great privilege of working with tremendous people, from the very supportive Board of Trustees to the dedicated staff and talented artists of The Pearl. I shall always be deeply grateful for my time with The Pearl and its tremendous audience and wish the company every possible success in its future."
Kate Farrington has been with The Pearl since 2006. As Artistic Associate and Dramaturg, she anchors The Pearl's audience enrichment programs and production dramaturgy. Farrington has worked with many New York theaters including MCC, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public and Vital Theater. She has been a contributor to Review, the literary journal of the LMDA, and is currently an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College.
Founded in 1984 by a small troupe of artists in Chelsea, The Pearl has grown into a renowned Off-Broadway company. The Pearl connects audiences to timeless classic plays, while providing an artistic home to theatre professionals, especially its core company of resident actors. As New York's only classical resident company, The Pearl has produced a body of work encompassing the full breadth of theatre history, from ancient Greek tragedy to contemporary works rooted in the classics.
The Pearl has garnered numerous awards, including most recently, a special 2011 Drama Desk Award for "notable productions of classic plays and nurturing a stalwart resident company of actors."
In October 2012, The Pearl celebrated the opening its first permanent home, located at 555 West 42nd Street.