NEW YORK CITY: New York Theatre Workshop (NYTW) has announced the retirement of associate artistic director Linda S. Chapman. Chapman, who has worked with the company for 25 years, will retire at the end of the year.
“I was introduced to NYTW by an invitation to become a Curator, Jim Nicola’s earliest initiative to support early career directors,” said Chapman in a statement. “We Curators turned into the first Usual Suspects, and from there came a crossroads for me, and I chose to accept Jim’s invitation to be NYTW’s associate artistic director, to help build an artists’ community and support the development of their projects. I couldn’t be more enthusiastic and hopeful about what is emanating from the generation of theatre makers typified by our Artistic Instigators and Fellows. Theatre making for me means collaborative creative life within a company, and my brilliant colleagues are reinventing our company as I prepare for my exit. NYTW has changed and grown immeasurably over these years, and I’ll continue to measure my growth grounded in the core values our theatre aspires to live by. I give thanks for my long run at NYTW to Jim Nicola and look forward to our eternal conversation about art, history, and the society we are a part of. To all the artists, past and current staff, and trustees of NYTW, and to our audiences from all the years: I raise my cup!””
Prior to joining NYTW, Chapman was an associate member of the Wooster group, where she served as managing director. Chapman is also the founding artistic director of Sang-Froid, Ltd. and one of the founding producers of Dyke TV and DTV Productions, a grassroots cable television program and media center by and for the lesbian community. Additionally, she is a co-writer and performer of the Obie-winning Gertrude and Alice: A Likeness to Loving with her life partner of 40 years, Lola Pashalinski. Chapman also co-adapted Ann Bannon’s The Beebo Brinker Chronicles for stage with playwright Kate Moira Ryan. Chapman is the founding president of Youth Arts NY, chair of the Lortel Award Committee for the League of Professional Theatre Women, and a member of the BOLD Theatre Women’s Leadership Circle. A Lily Award winner, Chapman has also served on funding panels for TCG, NEA, the Princess Grace Foundation, Mellon Foundation, the Drama League, the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, and the Fox Fellowship, among others.
“For more than a quarter century, Linda Chapman has been a constant, a bulwark, and her steady presence as a dynamic, passionate, visionary collaborator has had an incalculable impact on the course of NYTW’s history,” said artistic director James C. Nicola in a statement. “From the very founding of the Usual Suspects—the artists’ community that forms the bedrock of our company—to Summer Residencies, to the establishment of the Companies-In-Residence initiative, to conceiving and implementing the Next Door series, she has worked tirelessly and with an inspired sense of purpose. There is not a corner of New York Theatre Workshop’s existence that hasn’t been profoundly touched and shaped by her heart, her brains, and her soul.”
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