Bay Street Theatre announced Monday that Scott Schwartz, a leading voice of the next generation of American theater, has joined Bay Street as its new Artistic Director. Schwartz’s tenure at Bay Street will inaugurate a new vision for the theater, beginning with the 2014 season.
A graduate of Harvard University and a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Schwartz is an internationally acclaimed artist whose work has been seen worldwide, on and off Broadway. Over the past 20 years, he has built a reputation for pursuing and embracing a wide range of works for the stage, from new plays to classics to musicals and opera.
Schwartz directed the longest running one-woman show in Broadway history, Golda’s Balcony, William Gibson’s one-woman play about Golda Meir. His directing credits have garnered him numerous Drama Desk Award nominations, including for Outstanding Director of a Musical. Schwartz directed Séance on a Wet Afternoon starring Lauren Flanigan at New York City Opera, as well as its world premiere at Opera Santa Barbara for which he won a Santa Barbara Indy Award as Best Director. Currently, Schwartz is directing the new musical Secondhand Lions with book by Rupert Holmes and music and lyrics by Michael Weiner and Alan Zachary. The production will open at the 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle on September 26.
“We are delighted to welcome Scott Schwartz as our new Artistic Director,” says Tracy Mitchell, Executive Director of Bay Street, and Ana Daniel, Chairman of the Board of Trustees. “His remarkable talent, experience, and passion for theatre will help lead us to an incredible future of programming and new artistic alliances. We couldn’t be more thrilled.”
Producer Gary Hygom concurs. “Scott is an exceptional choice as our new Artistic Director. He is a dynamic, innovative director and ideally suited to lead Bay Street. His fresh perspective will have a galvanizing effect and reinvigorate our tradition of producing great theater that appeals to our diversified audience.”
“I am thrilled and deeply honored to be appointed Artistic Director at Bay Street Theatre,” says Schwartz. “I have long admired the work done by this great company, dating back to its earliest days. I still remember how taken I was when I traveled to Sag Harbor to attend Cynthia Ozick’s Blue Light, by the excitement of seeing first-class performers doing their work so close in this intimate and beautiful theater. I look forward to working with Executive Director Tracy Mitchell, Producer Gary Hygom, and the whole Bay Street family as we build on the rich tradition begun by Sybil Christopher twenty two years ago of presenting entertaining, innovative and thought-provoking productions for the East End of Long Island. While we’ve been frequent visitors for many years, my wife and I are now delighted to make a new home in Sag Harbor and to begin to be a part of this vibrant region.
“At its core,” continues Schwartz, “I believe theater is a social art form, and that a theater company is most vital when it is a focal point for its community. I am excited to bring the best and brightest theater artists working today to Sag Harbor, and to continue to make Bay Street a gathering place and center for the arts where artists and audiences alike will have the opportunity to enrich and enlighten each other.”