APAC's Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik to Step Down
The Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) announced today that Artistic Director Tom Wojtunik will be stepping down from his position as Artistic Director on June 30th, 2014. During Wojtunik's six years as Artistic Director, he successfully raised the company's artistic profile and solidified APAC's place as a respected developer and producer of new works. For his final production, he will direct Rodgers & Hammerstein's rarely seen Allegro, opening May 1st, 2014. (Critics are invited to all performances.)
Wojtunik said, "I am forever grateful for my time at APAC and so very proud of the work we produced on our mainstage and how passionately audiences responded to those productions. I am indebted to the staff, artists and supporters who helped make that work possible. APAC has earned its place as one of the major cultural institutions in Queens, and I look forward to watching it continue to grow."
After directing Proof at APAC in 2007, Wojtunik was brought on as Artistic Director in 2008. During Wojtunik's tenure, he expanded APAC's programming to include workshops and mainstage productions of new work including Joshua Conkel's MilkMilkLemonade, Ashlin Halfnight's A Hard Wall at High Speed, Matt Schatz's Love Trapezoid, Gregory S. Moss's Billy Witch, and Sandy Rustin's The Cottage. He started a developmental reading series, which included Sans Merci, Hand to God, and Bethany. Wojtunik directed acclaimed revivals of Ragtime, The Pillowman, Children of Eden, The Human Comedy, The Secret Garden and Blood Brothers. Wojtunik's inventive and exciting programming raised APAC's profile both in Queens and with the New York theatre community, leading to The New York Innovative Theatre Awards' 2012 Caffe Cino Fellowship Award. APAC was named a "Best of Queens Attraction" by USA Today, and was called "gleeful", "plucky and talented" and "adventurous" by The NY Times. Time Out New York praised Wojtunik as an "inventive programmer" and featured APAC as one of the "50 Things to Love About New York Theatre". Also during his tenure APAC earned 14 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and 5 wins, including Outstanding Musical for Children of Eden.
Shelly Felder, the President of APAC's Board of Directors said, "During my tenure on the board of APAC, I've seen tremendous artistic growth of this company. I joined at a time when Taryn Sacramone (former APAC Executive Director) and Tom's collaboration produced some extraordinary play making. Now, we are embarking on a new journey for APAC, just as Tom embarks on a new personal journey. We will miss his leadership and artistic nuance, and look forward to his returning as a guest director in the future. I speak for the whole board in wishing Tom great good luck as he begins the next phase of his artistic journey."
Erin Moore, the newly appointed Executive Director of APAC commented, "Though my time working with Tom has been brief, it has been a pleasure to see the work he has done in his new production of Allegro. I am confident that Tom has created a strong foundation upon which his successor and I will build. I look forward to collaborating with Tom during his final mainstage production as Artistic Director, and will draw on his insights and expertise as we take steps to fill his very talented shoes. Tom is and will continue to be an integral part of the APAC family, and I look forward to working with him in the future whenever he returns as a director."
Tom Wojtunik (Director) is the Artistic Director of the Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC), where he directed Blood Brothers, The Secret Garden, Love Trapezoid (workshop), The Human Comedy, Children of Eden (NY IT Award, Outstanding Musical), The Pillowman, Ragtime and Proof. Other NY credits: The Secret Catcher (Ensemble Studio Theatre); The Groove Factory (NYMF); It Is Done (22Q Entertainment/Mean Fiddler); The Play About the Naked Guy, Edenville (NY IT Award Nomination for Best Director, Emerging Artists Theatre); Grease 3: Threase (UCB/The Pit); The Miss Education of Jenna Bush (FringeNYC, Best Solo Show & Audience Favorite); Bright Lights, Big City (Marymount Manhattan College); The Who's Tommy, Man of La Mancha, Urinetown (NY IT Award, Outstanding Musical), Take Me Out (The Gallery Players); I'm In Love With Your Wife (Midtown International Theatre Festival). Tom is a member of the LCT Directors' Lab, the Ensemble Studio Theatre and Emerging Artists Theatre. BFA: Marymount Manhattan College. SDC Member. UPCOMING: Cloned! (NYMF). www.tomwojtunik.com
ASTORIA PERFORMING ARTS CENTER (APAC), a not-for-profit organization, was founded in 2001 by Sue Scannell (Founding Executive Director, 2001-2005) and Brian J. Swasey (Founding Artistic Director, 2001-2008). APAC's mission is to bring high quality theater to Astoria, Queens, and to support local youth and senior citizens.
On its mainstage, APAC produces revivals and premieres of plays and musicals, and APAC also develops new works through readings and workshops. Its flexible theater space changes with each production. To date, APAC has received 22 New York Innovative Theatre Award nominations and 5 wins (Children of Eden & Ragtime), as well as an Off-Off Broadway Theatre Review Award for Outstanding Production of a Musical (Is There Life After High School?). APAC was the recipient of the 2012 Caffe Cino Fellowship Award, under the leadership of Taryn Sacramone (APAC Executive Director, 2005-2013).
APAC offers free annual community programs, including a summer performance camp for children ages 8-13, an after school playwriting program for middle school students, and a performance program for Queens residents over the age of 60. These programs deepen ties with the community, and develop new audiences for theater. Diverse programming and consistent quality attracts a loyal and growing audience that reflects the diversity of Western Queens and also draws from the other boroughs and beyond.
In addition to its theater space within the Good Shepherd United Methodist Church, APAC's offices are located within the historic Kaufman Astoria Studios.
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