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Lear deBessonet Will Officially Take Over as Encores! Artistic Director in 2021

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Lear deBessonet Will Officially Take Over as Encores! Artistic Director in 2021

According to the New York Times, Lear deBessonet, current Resident Director of City Center Encores! will officially succeed Jack Viertel as the new artistic director in 2021. DeBessonet joined the Encores! team in January 2019 following Viertel's announcement of his retirement in July.

Lear deBessonet is an Obie Award-winning director based in New York. At City Center, she has directed Big River (Encores!) and Pump Boys and Dinettes (Encores! Off-Center). She is the Founder of Public Works and Resident Director at The Public Theatre, for which she has directed large-scale, critically-acclaimed musical adaptations of A Midsummer Night's Dream (Shakespeare in the Park), The Tempest, The Winter's Tale, andThe Odyssey. Her production of The Foundry Theater's Good Person of Szechwan, starring Taylor Mac and Lisa Kron, played an extended, sold-out run at The Public, and earned her an Obie Award for Direction, a Lortel Award for Best Revival, a Drama Desk Nomination, and a Lilly Award.

Additional credits include Suzan-Lori Park's Venus at Signature Theatre; Quiara Alegria Hudes' Miss You Like Hell at La Jolla Playhouse and The Public; and Romeo and Juliet at The Public. Now in its seventh year, the Public Works model of community engagement and participatory theater has spread nationally and internationally to Dallas, Seattle, and most recently the National Theater in London.

Photo Credit: Jennifer Broski

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