Harold Wolpert Named Executive Director of Signature Theatre

Harold Wolpert Named Executive Director of Signature Theatre

Signature Theatre's Board of Trustees (Edward Norton, Chairman, and Nina Matis, President) announced today the appointment of Harold Wolpert as Executive Director of the Tony Award-winning company beginning April 2, 2018. He will serve alongside Artistic Director Paige Evans, who joined Signature in 2016. Mr. Wolpert is a three-time Tony Award-winner who has served in leadership roles at some of the country's premiere cultural organizations, including Roundabout Theater Company, where he was Managing Director until 2016.

President Nina Matis said, "Harold Wolpert's experience as one of the most accomplished and respected not-for-profit arts leaders in the country, along with his strategic savvy, personal warmth, and passion for Signature's mission, make him the ideal person to lead this dynamic, one-of-a-kind company alongside Paige Evans."

Harold Wolpert said, "For nearly 30 years I have watched with admiration as Signature has grown and flourished, becoming one of this city's essential cultural institutions. Providing an immersive exploration into multiple writers' bodies of work in the thrillingly designed Pershing Square Signature Center, offering tens of thousands of subsidized tickets each season -- no one is doing what Signature is doing. I am beyond excited to work with my longtime friend Paige Evans and the Board and staff in leading Signature into its exciting next chapter."

Artistic Director Paige Evans said, "I'm thrilled to welcome Harold Wolpert, who I first met more than two decades ago working at Manhattan Theatre Club, as my partner in leading this incredible company. His experience at MTC and Roundabout, his enthusiasm for the possibilities at Signature and the Center, and the fact that he's a genuinely good person, make me very excited about what we will accomplish together."

ABOUT Harold Wolpert
Harold Wolpert is a leader and strategist with nearly three decades of experience in all aspects of arts administration at major not-for-profit theatre companies. Wolpert has made significant contributions in executive roles at Roundabout Theatre Company, Manhattan Theatre Club, and The Alley Theatre. His areas of expertise include not-for-profit leadership, strategic planning, organizational and business development, relationship-building, financial management and board relations. He has proven adept at managing organizations through critical transitions in business models, creation of new strategies and approaches, and developing and leveraging talent to achieve success.

In the industry, Wolpert is acknowledged as a national leader in the not-for-profit field through years of service to the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), most recently as LORT Vice President, Executive Committee member, chair of several LORT negotiating committees, key member of LORT's Diversity Initiative Steering Committee, as well as a member of Theatre Communications Group's (TCG) Board of Directors. He was recently honored with the Edith Oliver Service to Off-Broadway Award by the Lucille Lortel Awards.

In the community, Wolpert has always been actively engaged locally, serving as a teacher, consultant, grants panelist, and volunteer. He was an adjunct lecturer for the Brooklyn College MFA Program in Performing Arts Management for nine years, and recently was a guest lecturer for Shanghai Theatre Academy. As Board Chairman of AIDS Foundation Houston, he led the organization's fundraising efforts. He is an active volunteer for The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) young people ages 13-24.

A Philadelphia native, Wolpert earned a Bachelor's degree in History from the University of Pennsylvania. He served as Company Manager for Circle Repertory Company and Manhattan Theatre Club at the outset of his career.

ABOUT Signature Theatre

Signature Theatre celebrates playwrights and gives them an artistic home. Signature makes an extended commitment to a playwright's body of work, and during this journey the writer is engaged in every aspect of the creative process. By producing a series of plays by each resident writer, Signature delivers an intimate and immersive journey into the playwright's singular vision. In 2014 Signature became the first New York City company to receive the Regional Theater Tony Award.

Signature serves its mission through its permanent home at The Pershing Square Signature Center, a three-theatre facility on West 42nd Street designed by Frank Gehry Architects to host Signature's three distinct playwrights' residencies and foster a cultural community. At the Center, opened in January 2012, Signature continues its original Playwright-in-Residence model as Residency One, a year-long intensive exploration of a single writer's body of work. Residency Five, the only program of its kind, was launched at the Center to support multiple playwrights as they build bodies of work by guaranteeing each writer three productions over a five-year period. The Legacy Program, launched during Signature's 10th Anniversary, invites writers from both residencies back for productions of premiere or earlier plays.

The Pershing Square Signature Center is a major contribution to New York City's cultural landscape and provides a venue for cultural organizations that supports and encourages collaboration among artists throughout the space. In addition to its three intimate theatres, the Center features a Studio Theatre, a rehearsal studio and a public café, bar and bookstore.

Through the Signature Ticket Initiative: A Generation of Access, Signature has also made an unprecedented commitment to making its productions accessible by underwriting the cost of the initial run tickets, currently priced at $30, through 2031.

The search for Signature Theatre's new Executive Director began in the Fall of 2017 when Erika Mallin announced she was departing the company.The Board of Trustees conducted a national search and retained the executive recruiting firm Albert Hall & Associates to support its efforts.

Photo Credit: Lindsey Mercer

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