New Repertory Theatre Announces Leadership Change
New Repertory Theatre, the professional theatre company in residence at the Mosesian Center for the Arts, announces that Artistic Director Jim Petosa will step down from his leadership position (held since 2012) at the end of the 2018-2019 Season. He will next direct We Will Not Be Silent, opening in October, which will be the last production he directs during his tenure as artistic director.
"Jim has brought us a special, effective means of hewing to our mission of producing plays that speak powerfully to the vital ideas of our time," says Chip Phinney, President of New Rep's Board of Directors. "The production seasons he created have encouraged our audiences to engage in passionate conversations about contemporary issues. Jim's leadership has fostered consistent artistic excellence and attracted top actors, directors, and production staff that our audiences have greatly enjoyed."
Phinney said that a Board-appointed search committee is being organized and will assure "a smooth transition from New Rep's Jim Petosa-era to our future artistic leadership."
"It's truly bittersweet," explains Petosa about his stepping down. "The past seven seasons have been filled with so many memorable moments. It's been my pleasure co-leading one of the Boston-area's leading regional theatres - both in collaborating with the countless actors, directors, designers, on seasons' of plays and musicals - both big and small - as well as getting to know and become part of the New Rep family of theater enthusiasts and professional staff who have been loyal stewards of this important organization for over four decades."
"It's time," he continues, "to step aside and allow room for new artists to rise and lead. Serving as both Artistic Director of New Rep and as head of Boston University's School of Theater allowed a unique opportunity to forge a collaborative model where each could benefit from the other - sharing resources and providing real world stage (and back stage) opportunities for BU's students and faculty. As I step down from both positions at both organizations I look forward to focusing on teaching full-time at BU and directing projects into the future. It's been my honor to work alongside so many gifted artists and I am so proud of the work everyone has done together."
During his tenure, Jim directed the following productions at New Repertory Theatre:
Bakelite Masterpiece, Lonely Planet, Statements After an Arrest Under the Morality Act, Ideation, The Gift Horse, Brecht on Brecht, Good, Freud's Last Session, The Testament of Mary, Broken Glass, Assassins, On the Verge, The Elephant Man, and Amadeus. Prior to being named artistic director, Petosa directed Three Viewings, The Last Five Years, and Opus for New Rep.
New Rep's educational programs under Petosa's leadership have included the highly successful Classic Repertory Company, New Rep's flagship educational outreach program, which brings theatrical experiences to schools, senior centers, universities, summer camps, and presenting organizations throughout New England. These productions reach an audience of over 14,000 students annually. New Rep's educational offerings also include opportunities for playgoers to experience first rehearsals and discussions with the production teams, symposia with experts on the themes of a play, and post-performance talk-backs with actors and production staff.
"Jim has been a great co-leader at New Rep," shares Managing Director Harriet Sheets. "He has helped strengthen every aspect of our operation - including our artistic integrity; our relationships with directors, actors, designers and technicians; our staff and Board of Directors; and especially our connection with our subscribers, donors and patrons. In fact, New Rep will honor Jim with the Lifetime Achievement Award at this spring's annual Gala. Although we're sad, we celebrate his many contributions over the years, and look forward to his continuing to direct here into the future."
"I have loved directing at New Rep under Jim's leadership," shares Elaine Vaan Hogue. "He places an enormous amount of trust in the artists and that trust engenders the best work. Jim challenges in positive and productive ways, supporting the strong choices that will ultimately illuminate each play and production. At both New Rep and BU Jim nurtures our artistic families. Through the partnership between New Rep and BU collaborations have flourished and benefitted both in amazing ways. Teachers and students work together as colleagues forging a path for future collaborations in the contemporary theatre."
"Jim is simply the most important mentor I have ever had," shares Michael Kaye, whom Petosa has both directed in multiple roles, as well as worked alongside as faculty at Boston University's School of Theater. "Jim creates a rehearsal room that's full of joy, rigor, and heart. Working on plays with Jim is theatrical bliss. He has a way of getting a team of people to be the best version of themselves in service of the play. He's a master storyteller-whether speaking to a University president, board of directors, audience or a classroom, he can infect them all with the story he wants to tell."
Kaye continues, "Jim's set-up of the New Rep/BU partnership model has changed the way the field views what's possible in a professional theatre/theatre school relationship. Too often it's a deeply one-sided relationship that tips towards the professional company. The New Rep/ BU union has allowed our students to truly work in a horizontal way with professional theatre artists. The students are part of the team and expected to make significant artistic contributions. That kind of equity doesn't happen anywhere else."
"I sincerely appreciate the many gifts working at New Rep has allowed me," Petosa says. "Those of us who make a life on and behind the stage are the lucky ones. I wish everyone at New Rep the very best and am truly proud to have been part of the special New Rep family."
About Artistic Director Jim Petosa
Petosa joined New Repertory Theatre as an award-winning theatre artist, educator, and leader in 2012. He has served as Director of the School of Theatre, College of Fine Arts, at Boston University since 2002, and Artistic Director of Maryland's Olney Theatre Center for the Arts and its National Players educational touring company (1994-2012). He has also served as one of three co-artistic directors of the Potomac Theatre Project since 1987. While at BU, he established the Boston Center for American Performance (BCAP), the professional extension of the BU School of Theatre, in 2008. He has also served as a stage director for BU's Opera Institute, for which he has directed more than 20 productions since 2002. Throughout the Northeast, Mr. Petosa has directed for numerous institutions, including productions of Brecht on Brecht, Good, Freud's Last Session, Broken Glass, Assassins, On the Verge, The Elephant Man (IRNE Nomination), Amadeus, Three Viewings, The Last Five Years, and Opus at New Rep. In Maryland, his work earned over 25 Helen Hayes Award nominations as well as the award for outstanding direction of a musical for Jacques Brel Is Alive And Well... His production of Look! We Have Come Through! was nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for outstanding new play, as well as his production of Collected Stories. He earned the Montgomery County Executive's Excellence in the Arts and Humanities Award for Outstanding Artist/Scholar. A member of Actors' Equity Association, Mr. Petosa has served on the executive board of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, and currently serves on the Board of Directors for StageSource. Originally from New Jersey, he was educated at The Catholic University of America and resides in Quincy.
About New Repertory Theatre
Now in its fourth decade, New Repertory Theatre has established itself as one of the Boston area's premiere theatre companies. Celebrated for electrifying, compelling, and poignant productions, New Rep plays reflect our world and community, and regularly explore ideas that have vital resonance in our lives, here and now. New Rep shows are provocative, intelligent, and entertaining.
New Repertory Theatre is committed to bringing new works to the stage. Since 1984, New Rep has produced 73 East Coast, New England, Boston, or World Premieres, including works by Robert Brustein, Ronan Noone, Zayd Dohrn, Walt McGough, Deb Margolin, Matthew Lopez, Theresa Rebeck, Sarah Ruhl, Thomas Gibbons, Athol Fugard, Suzan-Lori Parks, Michael Weller, Dael Orlandersmith, J.T. Rogers, Joyce Van Dyke, Doug Wright, and Steve Yockey. New Rep is a core member in the National New Play Network (NNPN), an alliance of not-for-profit professional theatres that champions the development, production, and continued life of new plays for the American theatre.
Since 2005, New Repertory Theatre has been the professional theatre company in residence at the Mosesian Center for the Arts (formerly the Arsenal Center for the Arts) in Watertown, Massachusetts. Complete with two performance spaces, the 340-seat MainStage Theater and the 90-seat BlackBox Theater, the MCA has allowed New Rep to expand and enhance its programming