Jeremy O. Harris Will Be Creative Director of Williamstown Theatre Festival's Creative Collective

Harris will work in partnership with Raphael Picciarelli, WTF’s Managing Director, Strategy & Transformation.

By: May. 16, 2024
Jeremy O. Harris Will Be Creative Director of Williamstown Theatre Festival's Creative Collective
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It was announced today Jeremy O. Harris will be the inaugural Creative Director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival’s Creative Collective, a new artistic leadership model that will ensure boundary-breaking and diverse programming, create new opportunities for emerging artists, and foster shared ownership of the creative vision for the Festival. 

In his term, Harris will oversee the creative direction of the Festival, programming key events and facilitating exciting and unique collaborations with artists spanning multiple disciplines.

The WTF Creative Collective will feature a rotating annual cohort of directors that, in collaboration with Harris, will inform the curation and programming of each season. Working in partnership with Raphael Picciarelli, WTF’s Managing Director, Strategy & Transformation, the Collective will advance the new vision of the organization through annual and seasonal programming, strategic partnerships, and development of new work. Additional members of the first Creative Collective for the 2025 season will be announced later this year.

Harris said, “I’ve made it no secret that my idea of being a theatre maker is a holistic one and my passion to write plays is only matched by my passion to see the best ones being conceived. Nikos Psacharopoulos changed the American theatre by making Williamstown not only the equivalent of a teaching hospital for an entire generation of stars, but by also creating a home on the American summer stock stage for international playwrights. It’s my goal to continue this tradition by galvanizing a new generation of nascent talents across disciplines and challenging what theatre is by bringing artists from around the world together for a summer festival that feels more like a happening. What does a theatre festival that has Jaboukie Young-White, Milo Rau, a set by Billie Eilish & Steve Lacy and a new show with Ayo Edebiri and Paul Mescal look like? I’m not sure but I’m excited to go to my little black book and find out.”

Raphael Picciarelli, WTF’s Managing Director, Strategy & Transformation, said "When we were conceiving of our new artistic leadership model that will enable our vision for the future of the Festival, Jeremy was one of the first artists that came to my mind. Not only is he one of the most ambitious, bold, and talented artists working today, he also 

has a gift for curating and generating groundbreaking ideas. Sit with him for 10 minutes and you'll learn about an emerging avant-garde director in Berlin, the historical evolution of Jacobean tragedy, a fashion trend coming out of Paris, and an unknown writer trending on TikTok, and he'll connect all of them in fascinating and unexpected ways. I'm so thrilled to be collaborating with Jeremy and his partners in the Creative Collective to lead Williamstown Theatre Festival into its next chapter.”

Margaret Gould Stewart, Chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “Jeremy is coming into the Festival with limitless ideas and energy, and he shares WTF’s passion for bringing together emerging and prominent artists to create groundbreaking new work. I look forward to working with him and the team to support this exciting vision for the future of the Festival.”

Starting in 2025, WTF’s summer Festival will be an expansive expression of theater where audiences will be able to engage within a concentrated experience of a full calendar of events that range from traditional theater to fully immersive experiences, and everything in between. Simultaneously, WTF will develop year-round programming, producing digital and live pop-up events that begin to tell stories in the months leading up to the Festival and bring audiences closer to the process of making.

This summer, starting Thursday, August 1 through Sunday, August 4, an expansive four-day prototype for this new vision will take place. Called “WTF IS NEXT,” the weekend features a full slate of curated experiences and exclusive events that reflect an expansive expression of theater within the breathtaking natural beauty of the Berkshires.


Over the course of the “WTF IS NEXT” weekend, Festivalgoers may find themselves at an outdoor concert, a live taping of a popular podcast, a world premiere play, an outdoor community happening, or a burlesque-inspired variety performance.

Guests will experience “WTF IS NEXT” through either a four-day pass (Thursday-Sunday) or three-day pass (Friday-Sunday). Passes are extremely limited. For questions, contact the Festival at 413 458 3200 x 113. Guest artists and projects that will be participating in the weekend will be announced in the coming weeks.

PREVIOUSLY ANNOUNCED FOR THE 2024 WTF SUMMER SEASON

The season, programmed by Interim Artistic Director Jenny Gersten, will feature a return to fully staged shows produced in a new space for the Festival: the intimate 194-seat CenterStage, a state-of-the-art versatile performance space in Williams College’s ‘62 Center for Theatre & Dance (1000 Main St, Williamstown, MA 01267) that includes orchestra and balcony seating on three sides. The CenterStage season will include Sara Porkalob’s Dragon Mama, Part II of The Dragon Cycle, directed by Andrew Russell from Tuesday, July 2 through Sunday, July 14, and the world premiere of David Ives’ Pamela Palmer directed by his longtime collaborator  Walter Bobbie (Chicago, Venus in Fur) playing Tuesday, July 23 through Saturday, August 10. 

In the MainStage, Emmy® and Golden Globe Award® winner Rachel Bloom will bring her critically acclaimed musical comedy Death, Let Me Do My Show, directed by Seth Barrish, from Friday, July 5 through Sunday, July 14. 

nominee Christopher Fitzgerald advising, and music direction by Joel Waggoner.

The Plastic Bag Store, created, written, designed, and directed by Robin Frohardt, with music by Freddi Price, produced by Pomegranate Arts, and presented with MASS MoCA (housed in Building 1: 1040 Mass MoCA Way, North Adams, MA 01247) is now playing through Monday, September 2.

WTF’s Fridays@3 reading series, curated by the Festival’s Artistic Associate, Lianna Rada-Hung, featuring plays in development directed and performed by industry professionals will take place on Fridays at 3 PM in the Auditorium at the Clark Art Institute (225 South Street, Williamstown, MA 01267). The series will feature at the very bottom of a body of water written by Benjamin Benne, directed by Cat Rodríguez on Friday, July 12; SYLVIA SYLVIA SYLVIA by Beth Hyland on Friday, July 19; Indigo Dreams written by Melis Aker, directed by Kate Whoriskey on Friday, July 26 and KILL CORP written by Sofia Alvarez, directed by Portia-Krieger/">Portia Krieger on Friday, August 2.

This year’s Festival workshops and residencies include Alone & Alive written and performed by Joel Waggoner and directed by Brandon Ivie taking place Thursday, July 18 – Saturday, July 20 and Marcel On The Train written by Marshall Pailet and Ethan Slater, directed by Marshall Pailet, and produced by Mix and Match Productions (Maxwell Beer and Mitch Marois) taking place Tuesday, July 30 and Wednesday, July 31.

In addition to these companies, Kamilah Bush, John J. Caswell, Jr., Peggy Noonan, and Ellis Stump will join WTF as playwrights-in-residence this summer. More information about playwrights-in-residence and workshops can be found at www.wtfestival.org

About Williamstown Theatre Festival

For seven decades, the Tony Award-recognized Williamstown Theatre Festival has brought emerging and professional theater artists together in the Berkshires to create a thrilling summer festival of diverse, world premiere plays and musicals, bold new revivals, and a rich array of accompanying cultural events.

Artists are drawn to Williamstown Theatre Festival to make great theater in an environment conducive to artistic risk-taking. Matthew Broderick, Audra McDonald, Dominique Morisseau, Mary-Louise Parker, Susan Stroman, Uma Thurman, and Blair Underwood are just a few of the luminous theater artists who have worked at the Festival. Many others, including Sterling K. Brown, Ty Burrell, Charlie Day, Paul Giamatti, Kathryn Hahn, Allison Janney, Brie Larson, Chris Pine, and George C. Wolfe, began their careers at the Festival.

Productions and artists shaped at the Festival fill theaters in New York City and around the world. Recently, Williamstown Theatre Festival was represented on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally by The Sound Inside, Grand Horizons, The Rose Tattoo, The Visit, Fool for Love, The Elephant Man, Seared, Selling Kabul, Unknown Soldier, the 2018 Pulitzer Prize-winning Cost of Living, and Lempicka, which is now playing on Broadway.

Photo: Matthew Leifheit









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