Home Entertainment ‘Stereophonic’ Launching Pad Playwrights Horizons Names New Managing Director

‘Stereophonic’ Launching Pad Playwrights Horizons Names New Managing Director

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Playwrights Horizons, the longstanding and prominent Off Broadway theater company that launched the Tony Award-winning Broadway hit Stereophonic, has appointed a new managing director as it steers its way through what one exec calls “seismic” economic change for the nonprofit world.

Casey York, Managing Director of the incubator and producer Ars Nova, has been named Playwrights’ new Managing Director. She succeeds Leslie Marcus, who announced in December that she was stepping down after serving in the position since 1993.

York takes on her new role as the Off Broadway institution enjoys one of its highest profile seasons in years. Stereophonic, the David Adjmi play that chronicles the fraught recording session of a 1970s Fleetwood Mac-like band, originally opened in 2023 at Playwrights Horizons prior to its commercial transfer to Broadway, and Teeth, a dark musical comedy based on the 2007 cult horror film, will receive a commercial transfer to Off Broadway’s New World Stages in October following an extended run at Playwrights earlier this year.

The Broadway staging of Stereophonic is produced by Sue Wagner, John Johnson, Seaview, Sonia Friedman Productions, Linden Productions, Ashley Melone, Nick Mills and Jillian Robbins. The Off Broadway commercial transfer of Teeth is produced by Mark Gordon Pictures and Mickey Liddell & Pete Shilaimon.

Despite its recent renewed visibility, though, the 53-year-old Playwrights isn’t immune to the ongoing harsh economics of the non-profit world: As reported by the Broadway World website this week, the company recently laid off several junior staffers, with two in-house casting positions to be cut at the end of the current season. Additional cost-cutting measures reportedly will include week-long furloughs for department heads and a voluntary pay cut for Artistic Director Adam Greenfield.

Deadline has reached out to Playwrights execs for comment on the layoffs and cost-cutting measures and will update this post with any response.

Casey York

Brittany Anikka Liu

In its announcement about York’s hiring, Playwrights said a nationwide search had been conducted by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group for candidates “demonstrating a commitment to writers and theater artists and an understanding of how organizations can support them in turbulent times, and to increasing diversity and equity in the field.”

“The Managing Director needed to be someone with impeccable skills in financial management and long-term planning,” the announcement reads. “The ideal candidate would have clear philosophies around leading change in an evolving field, and innovative thinking about engaging new audiences and funders in a changing theatrical market.”

York emerged as the leading applicant, with Playwrights citing her work at Ars Nova first as General Manager then as Managing Director “helping sustain the organization through the tumult of the pandemic and the industry’s ensuing struggles.”

The appointment marks a homecoming for York, whose administrative work in the theater industry began at Playwrights in 2010, first as a Marketing Resident and then, from 2011 to 2014, as Associate General Manager.

Sam Gonzalez, Co-Chair of the Playwrights Horizons Board of Trustees, said in a statement, “We are thrilled to welcome Casey back to Playwrights Horizons. During her time at Ars Nova, Casey has proven herself to be a leader both within the organization and in the greater off-Broadway theatrical community. The Playwrights Horizons board of trustees and staff are looking forward to having Casey re-join our team as we adapt to produce new plays and musicals despite the headwinds facing non-profit theaters.”

In addition to her work at Ars Nova and Playwrights, York has served as President of the Off-Broadway League since 2020 and Vice President of the Association of Not For Profit Theater Companies since 2019. She is a member of New York Mayor Eric Adams’ inaugural Theatre and Live Performance Industry Council, in which she serves on the Workforce/Accessibility/Equity subcommittee.

“I’m humbled and delighted to join the leadership of Playwrights Horizons, one of our nation’s cultural treasures, and to build on Leslie Marcus’ exemplary 30-year legacy,” York said in a statement. “The opportunity to return home to Playwrights, as the next Managing Director, in this pivotal moment for our industry, is an honor beyond words.”

Said Artistic Director Greenfield, “In this time of seismic change in the economy and culture of theater, I feel inspired by Casey York’s vision – not just for the financial and artistic well-being of Playwrights Horizons, but for the role that theater plays in a vibrant and healthy city. On a more personal note, I’m delighted by Casey’s return to Playwrights. She and I started up here around the same time, some fifteen years ago, both at the beginning of our careers. As Playwrights Horizons faces a new chapter, an inflection point both inside and outside our theater’s walls, we are lucky to be equipped with the strength and solidity of Leslie Marcus’s longtime leadership—and with the creativity and might of Casey York’s.”



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