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Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell to Depart Vineyard Theatre as Executive Producer


Vineyard Theatre, one of the nation's leading nonprofit theatre companies has announced today that Executive Producer/CEO Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell, who has been a key member of the company's leadership team for almost 20 years, has decided to depart at the end of September 2016 to pursue new career opportunities.

Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell said in a statement:

"It is safe to say that when I started at Vineyard Theatre in 1997, I could not have foreseen what a vital and sustaining part of my life it would become. That enrichment came with the opportunity to work with an array of talented and generous artists, supportive donors, a committed Board of Directors, generous friends of the theater and a devoted and hard-working staff. Working with all of these people, I can look back with pride on the work we have produced and the programs we have created through the years.

"I am grateful to our Founder Barbara Zinn Krieger for bringing me into this company and giving me opportunities to grow with it, and to our Board of Directors for their support and guidance. I am particularly grateful to our Artistic Directors Doug Aibel and Sarah Stern for our many years of partnership and collaboration. I am also deeply grateful for the opportunity to have led a top notch staff through the years that have helped me to create a supportive, open and welcoming home for artists and audience members. I will always feel honored to have been a part of leading this special theatre company.

"I am thankful for the many meaningful relationships in my life that have grown during my time at The Vineyard and I look forward to staying connected as the next stage of my journey unfolds."

Doug Aibel and Sarah Stern (Artistic Directors) commented: "Jen Garvey-Blackwell has been a cherished member of the Vineyard Theatre's leadership team and a beloved friend and partner. Her passion, talent, expertise and acumen have been invaluable to us as the company has advanced creatively and administratively over the years. Her stewardship of the company has been truly exceptional. She will be deeply missed by us, and we know she will continue to do amazing things in all her future pursuits."

Vineyard Kenneth Greiner (Board Chair) said: "Jen has been a stalwart of the Vineyard Theatre for almost 20 years. Under her leadership, The Vineyard has grown and flourished and Jen has been very instrumental in transferring many of Vineyard Theatre's productions to other venues. The Vineyard will miss her energy and enthusiasm, and I will miss her counsel. The Board is working closely with Jen and the staff to ensure a smooth transition."

Jennifer began her tenure at Vineyard Theatre in 1997 in Marketing and Audience Services, transitioning to Executive Director/CEO in 2001 and Executive Producer in 2011. During her tenure, The Vineyard has developed and produced many notable works including the Tony Award-winning AVENUE Q, Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, Jeff Bowen and Hunter Bell's [title of show], Nicky Silver's THE LYONS (all of which transferred to Broadway) Craig Lucas' THE DYING GAUL, Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED, Gina Gionfriddo's AFTER ASHLEY, Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!, Colman Domingo's DOT, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins GLORIA (soon to be seen at Chicago's Goodman Theatre) and most recently Paula Vogel's INDECENT. Having started at The Vineyard with a full-time staff of just four, Jen has overseen the growth of the organization and has led the company's management, administration, production, marketing, development and finance departments.

She received the Cus D'Amato Community Service Award in 2007 from the Union Square Partnership for her work in the community, most notably with Washington Irving High School, with whom she piloted and created The Vineyard's high school education program in 1999. Jennifer also received the Hartwick College President's Award for Liberal Arts in Practice in 2014 and the Distinguished Alumna Award in 2009. Jen serves on the Board of Directors of the Union Square Partnership and the Advisory Board of New York City Children's Theatre. She has been an active member of The League of Off-Broadway Theatres and Producers, The Association of Non-Profit Theatre Companies and ART/NY. She is a proud mom of three.

"Jen Garvey-Blackwell has been at the center not only of Vineyard Theatre's growth but at the center of the not-for-profit Off-Broadway community," Kathleen Chalfant (Board President, Vineyard Theatre) said. "She has been an integral part of shaping that community and helping to guide it through all the twists and turns of the last 20 years. The Vineyard will miss her very, very much."

Pulitzer-winning playwright Paula Vogel stated: "Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell has been the person at The Vineyard we call at midnight during both times of crisis and times of celebration. I have been so lucky to work with her. She will continue to be a force in our community."

While playwright Nicky Silver added, "The Vineyard will not be the same without Jennifer Garvey-Blackwell. I will have to weep, complain and harass total strangers! I owe her so much!"

Vineyard Theatre has contracted the executive search firm Dunch Arts who is working with a search committee of the Board of Directors to identify the new executive leader.

Vineyard Theatre's 2016-2017 Season begins in November with the world premiere of THIS DAY FORWARD by Nicky Silver, directed by Mark Brokaw. Following that in the winter of 2017 will be the New York premiere of KID VICTORY, with story by John Kander and Gregory Pierce, music by John Kander, book and lyrics by Gregory Pierce and directed by Liesl Tommy. KID VICTORY is a co-production with Signature Theatre in Arlington, Virginia. Concluding The Vineyard's season in the spring of 2017 will be the New York premiere of Gina Gionfriddo's play CAN YOU FORGIVE HER?, directed by Peter DuBois.

Vineyard Theatre is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to new work, bold programming, and the support of artists. One of America's preeminent centers for the creation of new plays and musicals, Vineyard Theatre has consistently premiered provocative, groundbreaking works by both new and established writers. Notable premieres include Kander and Ebb's THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS, Nicky Silver's THE LYONS, Whitty, Lopez and Marx's AVENUE Q (Tony Award, Best Musical), and Bowen and Bell's [title of show], all of which went on to Broadway runs; the Pulitzer Prize-winning plays HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE by Paula Vogel and THREE TALL WOMEN by Edward Albee; Tarell Alvin McCraney's WIG OUT!, nine plays by Nicky Silver including PTERODACTYLS and RAISED IN CAPTIVITY, Becky Mode's FULLY COMMITTED, Craig Lucas' THE DYING GAUL, Polly Pen's GOBLIN MARKET, Christopher Shinn's WHERE DO WE LIVE, Cornelius Eady's BRUTAL IMAGINATION, Gina Gionfriddo's AFTER ASHLEY, the Laura Nyro musical ELI'S COMIN' (5 Obie Awards), Anne Washburn's THE INTERNATIONALIST, Julia Cho's THE PIANO TEACHER, Ben Katchor and Mark Mulcahy's THE SLUG BEARERS OF KAYROL ISLAND, Jenny Schwartz's GOD'S EAR and SOMEWHERE FUN, The Civilians' THIS BEAUTIFUL CITY, Colman Domingo's A BOY AND HIS SOUL, Adam Rapp's THE METAL CHILDREN, Will Eno's MIDDLETOWN, Hunter Bell, Susan Blackwell and Jeff Bowen's NOW.HERE.THIS., Douglas McGrath's CHECKERS, Rajiv Joseph's THE NORTH POOL, John Kander and Greg Pierce's THE LANDING, Polly Pen and Victor Lodato's ARLINGTON, Michael Mayer and Peter Lerman's BROOKLYNITE, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' GLORIA, Colman Domingo's DOT, and Paula Vogel and Rebecca Taichman's INDECENT. Works premiered at The Vineyard have gone on to be produced across the country and around the world. Works premiered at The Vineyard have garnered two Pulitzer Prizes, three Tony Awards, and numerous Obie, Drama Desk, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics, and New York Drama Critics Circle awards, and Vineyard Theatre is proud to be the recipient of special Obie, Drama Desk and Lucille Lortel awards for Sustained Excellence. In addition to the shows on our mainstage, Vineyard develops new work all season long and awards the Paula Vogel Playwriting Award and Susan Stroman Directing Award annually to gifted emerging artists to create new works in residence. Our award-winning education programs serve more than 300 public high school students each season. It is our goal to bring a spirit of adventure and risk to the art of making theatre, and to produce new work that challenges both our audiences and artists.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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