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O’Neill Theater Center Names Tiffani Gavin Executive Director

Gavin is the institution’s fifth executive director, and the first Black woman to hold the position.

WATERFORD, CONN.: The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center has named​ Tiffani Gavin ​as its next executive director. Gavin is the institution’s fifth executive director in its 55-year history, succeeding most recently Preston Whiteway. She will lead the O’Neill’s professional development programs for puppetry, plays, musicals, and cabaret, as well as its flagship undergraduate program, the National Theater Institute.

Tiffani Gavin on Cottage Row at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center. (Photo by Isaak Berliner)

“Tiffani Gavin impressed everyone who met her as someone who can lead the O’Neill to great new heights,” said board chairman Tom Viertel in a statement. “Her extensive experience in both not-for-profit and commercial theatre as a senior executive and a producer responsible for new work is a perfect combination for the position.​”

Gavin began her career in general management at the Public Theater in New York and as a company manager at Blue Man Group. She went on to hold leadership positions in both nonprofit and commercial theatre organizations, including Clear Channel Entertainment and the American Repertory Theater. She most recently served as the manager of the Marquis Theatre on Broadway and has managed productions such as the National Tour of The Phantom of the Opera.

She also served as executive producer for Clear Channel Entertainment and later as the general manager/VP of Production at Martian Entertainment, where she commissioned and developed new work by emerging artists across the U.S. and internationally. While producing at Clear Channel, her broad portfolio included Broadway and Off-Broadway productions as well as national tours. Among them were Ragtime (national tour), The Producers (Broadway, national tour), Hairspray (Broadway, national tour), Sweet Charity (2005 Broadway revival), Gumboots (national tour, European tour), Squeezebox (Off-Broadway), and Contact (national tour). She was also the senior director of Professional and International Licensing for Theatrical Rights Worldwide, where she acquired and licensed secondary performing rights for musicals such as Monty Python’s Spamalot and The Color Purple. She has a B.A. from Brown University in Sociology, and Modern Culture and Media with a focus in Mass Media and Cultural Representation.

“I​ am thrilled to be at the O’Neill in a position that utilizes all my management and creative development experience,” s​aid Gavin in a statement.​ “T​he O’Neill is where innovation happens. I’ve seen firsthand the impact of the O’Neill’s famed new work development process and it is in support of this incredible legacy that I am excited to lead O’Neill further into its next phase of life, one with theatrical innovation and diversity at the forefront.​”

The O’Neill will hold a series of​ virtual Town Hall ​events to welcome Tiffani Gavin, and the first will be exclusively for O’Neill members on Sept. 22. Additional welcome events will be open to the public on Sept. 23 and Sept. 24. RSVP here.

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