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originally published: 08/17/2022

(PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania) — After a nationwide search, the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Theater Company (PTC) found its new artistic direction: the company welcomes the nationally acclaimed team of Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky as PTC’s new co-artistic directors.

Following the five-year tenure of Paige Price, who stepped down to focus on commercial theater production, Magar and Dobrowsky will take up their official duties in September. Magar is an Egyptian-American director whose work has been seen in the United States as well as abroad, and her many accolades include an Obie Award for Directing (2018, Is God by Aleshea Harris), the “Break Out Award” from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union and its Lortel-winning cover by Anna Deveare Smith Dusk: Los Angeles, 1992 is set to open at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA this fall.

Dobrowsky is the former Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony Award-winning theater located in Providence, RI. He has two decades of experience producing high quality regional theater with a particular focus on community engagement, creating educational programs for young people and developing world premiere plays and musicals. Together, they possess a strong artistic skill set, a broad and deep network of actors, directors and playwrights, and world-class directing and producing abilities.

They will partner with current CEO Emily Zeck to set the stage for PTC’s newest chapter, which kicks off this fall with the world premiere of The tattooed woman opening Friday, November 4, as PTC celebrates 15 years at the Suzanne Roberts Theater.

“I’m thrilled to have Taibi and Tyler join PTC as co-artistic directors,” said Gary Deutsch, chairman of PTC’s board of directors. “Taibi and Tyler are rising stars in the theater world, and their artistic leadership will energize PTC and the performing arts community in Philadelphia. PTC is adopting a new leadership model that will leverage the complementary strengths of Taibi and Tyler. They share PTC’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility and will advance our goals of expanding PTC’s customer base and bringing entertaining and engaging programs to the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.

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Zeck, who joined PTC five years ago, is excited about this new partnership. She is thrilled with their energy and what they both bring to moving PTC forward into the future.

“Taibi and Tyler are a discharge of energy that will propel PTC into our next chapter,” Zeck said. “They’re excited to learn and deliver what Philadelphia wants and needs from PTC, and we’re ready for that. Their commitment to making great art while representing Philadelphia on and off the stage is their magic, and it’s more than the sum of their two individual talents. I can’t wait to see how PTC will contribute to – and even change – the American theatrical canon under his artistic direction.

For the nationwide research, PTC engaged the services of ALJP Consulting. ALJP is a recruitment company that has set out to reinvent the arts and culture sector and places inclusion and equity at the heart of its action.

“The candidate pool for this search was incredibly strong with dynamic artists,” said ALJP Director Al Heartly. Running operating rooms, especially in light of recent years, has only become more complex. The idea of ​​having more voices in the room to make tough choices always leads to better decision making.

For new co-artistic directors, Magar and Dobrowsky were drawn to PTC for its commitment to high artistic quality and dedication to new work. They both developed new plays throughout their careers, Magar as director and Dobrowsky as producer. In the fall of 2021, they co-directed Macbeth in stride written by Obie-winning Whitney White at the American Repertory Theatre. They also worked together on the theatrical adaptation of Mike Stanton’s New York Times bestseller. The Prince of Providence at Trinity Repertory Company, the highest-grossing show in Trinity Rep’s history. Magar also has local ties to the Philadelphia community – she ran Lighting Rod Special’s international sensation Underground Railroad Game and served as a lecturer at the University of the Arts. Dobrowsky has a wealth of experience commissioning new work from writers such as George Brant, Jackie Sibblies Drury, James Ijames, Whitney White, and Lauren Yee, among others.

“It’s especially gratifying when a new play you directed and produced continues to have a rich and full life in New York or across the country,” Magar said. “We look forward to working with the truly fantastic artists of Philadelphia and bringing our network of collaborators to PTC to develop the best new plays in the country right here in Philadelphia.

Dobrowsky and Magar have a deep interest in community engagement and the educational side of theatre. “Community engagement and education are inextricably linked to who we are as people and as artists,” Dobrowsky said. “This is a humbling and exciting opportunity to make our artistic and creative home a city as vibrant as Philly. We look forward to expanding educational opportunities for young people in this city and beginning to build mutually beneficial and reciprocal relationships with community groups across Philadelphia and beyond.

The couple can’t wait to leave their mark on Philadelphia’s theatrical landscape.

“Philadelphia should know that we will always put the highest quality theater on our stage,” Magar said. “And this high-quality theater will be tied to our deep commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility.”

“We believe that a theater is not just a place to see great plays, but should also be an integral part of the social, cultural and civic fabric of the city,” Dobrowsky said. “We want PTC to be a public square, a place for community gathering, reflection and learning – a community hub dedicated to art and culture that reflects this beautiful, diverse city. We want to emphasize “Philadelphia” in the Philadelphia Theater Company. »

PTC’s 48th anniversary season includes a major world premiere, a Philadelphia premiere, and a modern classic that all explore the idea of ​​liberation and being free from social norms, barriers, and stereotypes. The 2022-23 season gets off to a flying start with the world premiere of The tattooed woman, a new musical from co-librettists Erin Courtney and Max Vernon with music and lyrics by Max Vernon, developed with and directed by Ellie Heyman. This highly anticipated musical was first conceived as part of the Kimmel Center Theater Residency before being developed and commissioned by PTC. The story explores the life and legacy of a century of tattooed women from the 1880s to the 1980s. It runs from October 28 to November 20, 2022.

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Next, audiences will be introduced to the Philadelphia premiere of Empathitrax by local writer and actress Ana Nogueira, who appeared in ‘The Vampire Diaries’ and originated the role of Eliza in the early Hamilton Workshops. This dark, futuristic sci-fi story about a young couple who turn to a breakthrough in pharmacology to save their rocky relationship runs from February 10 to March 5, 2023. Philadelphia director Nell Bang Jensen, who helmed the digital production of PTC of Wolves, returns to direct this hilarious futuristic story. The season will end with Lanie Robertson’s modern classic on one of Billie Holiday’s last performances in the City of Brotherly Love, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Lady Day songs will take center stage from April 7 through April 30, 2023. PTC Resident Artist Jeffrey L. Page, who just finished co-directing the 1776 Broadway revival, reminisces about that incredible look on a final performance by a legend.

Subscription packages are on sale now from $57 to $147 (30% off single ticket prices). Subscriptions are available online at www.philatheatreco.org or by phone at 215-985-0420 X1. Single tickets go on sale September 6. PTC is committed to providing all audiences with access to the arts and its communities. Discounts and special rates are available for certain groups. Performances in audio description, subtitles and interpreted in ASL will also be available during the 2022-23 season. All shows are presented at PTC’s home at the Suzanne Roberts Theater, 480 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146. Connect with the Philadelphia Theater Company for the latest social media updates at @philatheatreco on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theater Company presented 203 world and Philadelphia premieres. More than 50% of PTC’s world premieres have taken place in New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new coin development. In 2007, PTC helped expand Philadelphia’s thriving cultural corridor by opening the Suzanne Roberts Theater on the Avenue of the Arts.

PTC recently announced Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters as the recipient of its 2022 Terrence McNally Award. She joins former recipient Donja R. Love as the second playwright to receive the award, which PTC relaunched in 2021 to focus on writers. of Philadelphia.

Photo by Mark Garvin

About Madeline J. Carter

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