Christie Evangelisto And Bennett Leak Join Artistic Staff At Second Stage Theater

Christie Evangelisto And Bennett Leak Join Artistic Staff At Second Stage Theater

Currently celebrating its 40th Anniversary Season, Second Stage Theater (Carole Rothman, President and Artistic Director; Casey Reitz, Executive Director) will welcome two new Associate Artistic Directors to the staff. Beginning next month, Christie Evangelisto and Bennett Leak will join the artistic staff of the acclaimed company, working under 2ST President and Artistic Director Carole Rothman. A third Associate Artistic Director will be named in the coming weeks.

Christie Evangelisto is a dramaturg and producer with twenty years of experience in new play/new musical development. She has recently returned from Sydney where she was the Director of Dramaturgy for Playwriting Australia, the country's premier new play development organization. Prior to this, Evangelisto held several notable positions in New York including Literary Director at Signature Theatre, Director of Musical Theatre Development & Resident Dramaturg at Playwrights Horizons, and Vice President of Development at Scott Rudin Productions. She has a BA in Dramatic Literature from New York University and an MFA in Dramaturgy from Yale School of Drama.

At Signature Theatre, Evangelisto played a key role in the company's expansion into the Pershing Square Signature Center, where she oversaw the literary department and worked closely with all playwrights-in-residence. She dramaturged several new and revived works each season, including Appropriate by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Heartless by Sam Shepard, Medieval Play by Kenneth Lonergan, Our Lady of Kibeho by Katori Hall, and Old Hats by Bill Irwin and David Shiner. At Playwrights Horizons, Evangelisto shepherded five seasons' worth of new plays and musicals to its two stages. Some highlights from her time with the company include The Pain and the Itch by Bruce Norris; A Feminine Ending by Sarah Treem; Saved! by Michael Friedman, Rinne Groff and John Dempsey; and the Tony Award-winning Broadway transfer of Grey Gardens by Doug Wright, Scott Frankel and Michael Korie.

Bennett Leak has worked in New York theater in various capacities for fifteen years. He has been at Second Stage Theater for almost four years as the Director of Special Events. In that role, he's raised over $7M for the organization and served as the Line Producer for 2ST events. Prior to Second Stage, he was Senior Producer at Eventstyle, an event design & production company in NYC.

He has collaborated with many notable artists during his time at 2ST including directors James Lapine, Scott Ellis, and Trip Cullman and most recently produced a tribute show honoring Harvey Fierstein, directed by Jerry Mitchell. Bennett produced the Opening Ceremony of the Hayes Theater last year as well as all the events celebrating the company's inaugural Broadway season. Among the many noteworthy productions at Second Stage, select shows he's worked on include Dear Evan Hansen (book by Steven Levenson, music and lyrics by Benj Pasek and Justin Paul), Notes From the Field by Anna Deavere Smith, Torch Song by Harvey Fierstein, Mary Page Marlowe by Tracy Letts, and Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan.

Bennett is originally from North Carolina. He has a BFA from Boston University's College of Fine Arts and studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA).

Second Stage Theater's 40th Anniversary Season kicked off last summer with the Broadway premiere of Young Jean Lee's STRAIGHT WHITE MEN, directed by Anna D. Shapiro. The season continued with the World Premiere of DAYS OF RAGE, a new play by Tony Award winner Steven Levenson (Dear Evan Hansen) and directed by Trip Cullman who staged the company's recent Tony-nominated hit production of Kenneth Lonergan's Lobby Hero.

The world premiere musical SUPERHERO, which is currently in previews, will officially open on February 28, 2019. Directed by Jason Moore, SUPERHERO features a book by John Logan and music and lyrics by Tom Kitt. SUPERHERO is sponsored by American Express. Additional support is provided by The National Endowment for the Arts.

The season will also feature Christopher Shinn's Pulitzer Prize finalist, DYING CITY, in a new production from acclaimed director Lila Neugebauer (The Wolves), who returns to Second Stage after directing Tracy Letts' Mary Page Marlowe last summer. The New York Premiere of Bess Wohl's play, MAKE BELIEVE, directed by Michael Greif, will conclude the season in summer 2019.

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