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MacDowell Colony Names Philip Himberg Executive Director

The artistic director of Sundance Institute’s Theatre Program will take over leadership of the New Hampshire colony this summer.

NEW YORK CITY: The MacDowell Colony has named Philip Himberg its new executive director. Himberg, currently the artistic director of Sundance Institute’s Theatre Program, will succeed Cheryl Young at New Hampshire’s MacDowell Colony. Young is retiring after 30 years at the helm, and Himberg will take up the post on June 1.

Philip Himberg. (Photo by Fred Hayes for Sundance Institute)

Himberg will be stationed in the New York City office and work closely with David Macy, who will continue to serve as MacDowell’s resident director in Peterborough, N.H. The organization provides resources and a creative environment for artists of all disciplines to develop new work.

“Philip’s passion for and deep knowledge of all the arts, coupled with the invaluable experience he accrued during the years he spent running the Sundance Institute Theatre Program and its annual Lab, render him ideally qualified to oversee MacDowell’s unparalleled multidisciplinary program,” said Michael Chabon, MacDowell’s chairman of the board, in a statement. “Among an extraordinary field of candidates, his holistic and collaborative approach to managing multiple projects made him stand out. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”

Himberg has been with the Sundance Institute for 23 years, overseeing the organization’s Theatre Laboratory and residency programs across the U.S. and in East Africa and North Africa. Under his leadership, the lab programs have supported hundreds of playwrights in the creation of new works. Himberg is also a playwright, and his play Paper Dolls received its world premiere at London’s Tricycle Theatre. He is a former member of the Tony Awards Nominating Committee, served as past president of the board of Theatre Communications Group, and is currently a trustee of London’s Kiln Theatre. London. Himberg has taught at NYU/ Tisch and Yale School of Drama. In addition to a B.A. from Oberlin College, Himberg holds a degree as a doctor of Chinese medicine, and previously was a practicing acupuncturist and herbalist.

“The MacDowell Colony and Sundance Institute deeply align in their missions to identify, nurture, and amplify the work of independent artists,” said Himberg in a statement. “More than ever, the world needs the inspiration of our most talented creative art makers—and so the place that is MacDowell remains a rare crucible of invention and imagination. Executive director Cheryl Young has shepherded the Colony with unsurpassed vision, grace, and passion, and I am honored and humbled to lend what skills I have to fortify MacDowell’s singular legacy—respectful of its roots and heritage—and to hopefully ignite thoughtful new paths for the Colony in the 21st century.”

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