David Winitsky Is Named Kitchen Theatre Company's New Interim Producing Artistic Director
Director, producer and Cornell University alumnus ('93) David Winitsky has been named the new Interim Producing Artistic Director of Ithaca's Kitchen Theatre Company. David's appointment was unanimously approved by the Kitchen Theatre Company's Board of Directors. He succeeds M. Bevin O'Gara, the theatre's Producing Artistic Director since 2017.
David is the Founder and Executive Artistic Director of New York's Jewish Plays Project, the nation's leading development house for contemporary Jewish theater, from which he will take a sabbatical leave for the 2020-2021 season. He has also held leadership positions at HERE Arts Center in New York (General Manager) and Playwrights Theater of New Jersey (Producing Director), in addition to positions in commercial theater (Broadway on Broadway, Chicago, Rent, Miss Saigon) .
"When I was in Ithaca 30 years ago, a group of my acting teachers started this crazy company called the Kitchen Theatre," said David. "Their first productions - including their seminal Cloud 9 - are formative theater experiences for me. I am so humbled and honored to return to Ithaca to lead this now-thriving institution through what promises to be a truly unforgettable year."
David has directed or assisted on Broadway, off-Broadway, and regionally at Papermill Playhouse, California Shakespeare Company and Chicago's famous Steppenwolf Theater. His New York directing credits include the world premiere of H. Levick's Displaced Wedding (New Worlds Theatre Project) and Brooke Berman's Until We Find Each Other (Best of Festival, MITF). Regional hits include The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Our Dad is in Atlantis ("theater with a capital T"), and Camillo Almonacid's The Assignment ("all the superlatives").
As a producer, David has developed 50 plays from some of the best artists working in New York, including writers David Hein and Irene Sankoff (Come from Away), Robert Askins (Hand to God) , and Lauren Yee (Cambodian Rock Band) ; directors Marc Bruni (Beautiful), and Daniella Topol (Rattlestick Theater); and actors Andrew Polk (The Band's Visit, Billions) , Ronald Guttman (Mad Men, Homeland) , and Kirrilee Berger (Amazon's J ust Add Magic).
David has received executive training as a 2014-17 Silicon Valley UpStart National Fellow, a 2011 PresenTense New York City Fellow, and a 2019 Fellow at the Institute for Executive Leadership at Columbia Business School. As a consultant, he has helped raise over a million dollars for arts education, underserved youth, and Former Soviet Union programs.
Board President, Joel Malina states, "On behalf of the entire staff and board, we are thrilled to welcome David to the Kitchen Theatre Company family. His artistry and expertise will be huge assets not only to the organization but also to our community. We look forward to his guiding the Kitchen to even greater heights over the coming year."
David holds an MFA in Directing from Northwestern, where he studied with Tony Winners Frank Galati, Mary Zimmerman, Tina Landau and Anna Shapiro. He received his BA in Mathematics from Cornell, where he was a College Scholar. He is currently a Visiting Lecturer at Cornell in Performing and Media Arts, and Jewish Studies, teaching the course "Sitcom Jews: Ethnic Representation on TV and Stage, 1948-2020". He is the proud husband of Elizabeth Samet, thankful father of Ezekiel (19) and Alexander (16), and a rabid Philadelphia Eagles fan.
David will assume the role of Interim Producing Artistic Director on July 1, 2020.