Pittsburgh, PA (June 7, 2017) – Driven by a passion for new plays, City Theatre Artistic Director Tracy Brigden has been at the helm of the South Side performing arts organization for 16 seasons, producing notable works and world premieres by exceptional talents. Ms. Brigden has announced that, with the culmination of the 2016-17 season, she is stepping down as artistic director.
“The 2016-17 season was one of City Theatre’s best ever, with two hit shows that extended, one world premiere production that is moving to off-Broadway, and myriad accolades and glowing reviews,” said Ms. Brigden. “It is on this high note of triumph and after 16 years as the artistic leader of City Theatre that I believe it is an opportune and ideal time for me to move on. I am so proud of all that the staff, board, artists, and I have accomplished during my tenure, and wish the company all the best in their next chapter.”
Continuing this high artistic standard will be a primary goal of the Board of Directors, according to City Theatre Board President Beth Newbold.
“Tracy is an exceptional artist. Her passion and energy brought exciting new and contemporary plays to life for our audiences,” said Ms. Newbold. “Tracy, and the entire artistic team, consistently produced works of substance and ideas that engaged and challenged us, earning praise from audiences and critics alike, both at home and around the country.”
Under Ms. Brigden’s leadership, the organization cemented a national reputation for new play development, producing more than 25 world premieres in 16 years and creating the Momentum Festival. Highlights of Ms. Brigden’s tenure at City Theatre include directing the world premiere of Some Brighter Distance, this season’s hit Hand to God, the world premiere of Hope and Gravity, the American premiere of The Monster in the Hall, and many others.
The Board of Directors will be evaluating the organization’s operations in the service of a new strategic plan to fulfill City’s mission. The Board will also appoint a task force to manage the upcoming transition, which will include a national search for a new artistic leader in Fall 2017. Managing Director James McNeel will take on additional leadership responsibilities in the interim while Director of New Play Development Clare Drobot and Artistic Producer Reginald L. Douglas will ensure that the company maintains its high quality of programming until a new artistic director is seated.
“While change is inevitable, it opens up the opportunity for reflection and growth for our organization,” Ms. Newbold said. “We know that Tracy’s artistic journey will continue to be successful. The Board and staff at City Theatre are committed to building on her legacy, and we will move forward together with a shared vision of our role and impact on the Pittsburgh community.”
City Theatre annually produces a six-play subscription season of new plays, with City Events, education programming, and various audience engagement activities from its South Side home. The company is entering its 43rd season.