NEW YORK CITY: Acclaimed director Anne Kauffman has been named artistic director of Encores! Off-Center for the 2019 season. Founding artistic director Jeanine Tesori will maintain her relationship with the popular summer series of off-the-beaten-track musical revivals as creative advisor, working with Kauffman to curate programming which will conclude City Center’s 75th Anniversary Season. Kauffman and Tesori served as co-artistic directors for the 2018 series, which included Jason Robert Brown’s Songs for A New World, Michael Friedman’s Gone Missing, and Micki Grant’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope.
“We were so fortunate to welcome back Jeanine Tesori and Anne Kauffman as the leaders of this summer’s Encores! Off-Center series,” said Arlene Shuler, New York City Center president and CEO, in a statement. “And we couldn’t be more thrilled that Anne, in collaboration with Jeanine, will carry on the mission of the series by continuing to bring new voices and artists to City Center audiences.”
“I am so very grateful to Michael Friedman for asking me to direct Assassins two summers ago,” said Kauffman, whose recent credits include Mary Jane and Hundred Days at New York Theatre Workshop, Marvin’s Room at Roundabout Theatre, and A Life and Marjorie Prime at Playwrights Horizons. “He introduced me to City Center and to what musical theatre is and could be. Michael Friedman, Jeanine Tesori, and City Center have had an immeasurable impact on my artistic path, and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to continue this collaboration. I’m really looking forward to putting together the next season.”
Encores! Off-Center was founded in 2013 with the mission of reviving musicals that pushed creative boundaries when they were first produced. Past productions including Violet with Sutton Foster (which transferred to Broadway the following year); tick, tick…BOOM! with Lin-Manuel Miranda; A New Brain with Jonathan Groff; Little Shop of Horrors with Ellen Greene and Jake Gyllenhaal; Elizabeth Swados’s Runaways; The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin with Nikki M. James, and Micki Grant and Vinnette Carroll’s Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope. In keeping with City Center’s founding mission to make the arts accessible to all, many Off-Center tickets are $25.
Programming for the 2019 Encores! Off-Center season will be announced later.