WATERTOWN, MASS.: New Repertory Theatre has named producer and director M. Bevin O’Gara to be its interim executive artistic director, effective April 5. O’Gara succeeds Michael J. Bobbitt, who started a new role as the executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council on Feb. 1. O’Gara will remain in this position for around 9 to 12 months as the company searches for a permanent artistic director.
“New Rep’s search committee is thrilled with the appointment of Bevin as our interim executive artistic director,” said Jo Trompet, chair of New Rep’s board of directors, in a statement. “Her familiarity and connections with the Boston theatre community, previous employment at New Rep, and strong commitment to using theatre to advance equity and anti-racism made her a unanimous choice. We are confident that she will help to guide New Rep through the pandemic and our continued growth as an organization.”
O’Gara has overseen numerous productions, workshops, and readings during her almost two-decade career in Boston, receiving multiple Elliot Norton Awards. While at Kitchen Theatre, she launched a Green Initiative aimed at bringing more environmentally sound practices to the theatre. She also restaged Tribes for a new audience, raising $25,000 for the production and presenting the first ever mainstage ASL interpreted performance in the Percy Browning Theatre. O’Gara was recognized as Ithaca’s Best Cultural Asset for two years in a row during her tenure at Kitchen Theatre. Her tenure also saw the theatre reach a record number of subscribers, increase sponsorship support by 10 percent, and increase foundational support by 137 percent, including bringing in the theatre’s first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts. Her work also saw the company expand its view and vision for equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in hiring practices and the creation of space for D/deaf artists and disabled youth at the theatre.
“I feel strongly about New Rep’s mission to produce work that speaks to the vital conversations of the day,” said O’Gara in a statement. “I’d add that, in my vision of the theatre, it is just as important for these ideas to spark conversation and create dialogue. New Rep was where I cut my teeth as a young producer many years ago, and I am grateful for the skills I gained there. They made me what I am, as an artist and as a person. I look forward to paying that back now.”
M. Bevin O’Gara spent three years as the producing artistic director at the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, N.Y. Prior to that, she worked at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, most recently filling the role of associate producer. During her time there, O’Gara oversaw dozens of productions, workshops, and readings and played an active role in realizing new work by writers such as Craig Lucas, Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez, Stephen Karam, Lydia R. Diamond, and A. Rey Pamatmat. She worked to create the first Huntington programing for the Robert’s Studio Theatre with David Cromer’s production of Our Town, which won the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production in 2013.
As a director her credits include The Who and The What by Ayad Akhtar, Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production) and Becoming Cuba by Melinda Lopez at the Huntington Theatre Company; The Pink Unicorn, Small Mouth Sounds (Elliot Norton Award winner for Best Ensemble), The Bridges of Madison County, appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park with SpeakEasy Stage Company; Brahman/i, Chronicles of Kalki, You for Me for You, Love Person, and The Pain and the Itch with Company One Theatre; Phedre with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Fast Company with the Lyric Stage Company; Marjorie Prime with the Nora Theatre Company; How Soft the Lining and Translations with Bad Habit Productions; Two Wives in India and Gary with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre; 2.5 Minute Ride with New Repertory Theatre; and Melancholy Play with Holland Productions. Other companies she’s worked at include Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland Playhouse, Logan Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Actor’s Center of Australia, and the Gaiety School in Dublin.
From 2006 to 2008 she worked as the artistic associate at the New Repertory Theatre, where she started their second-stage series. O’Gara has been a guest artist or lecture at several universities including Harvard University, Emerson College, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Brandeis University, Boston University, Tufts University, Boston College, Boston Conservatory, and Northeastern University. O’Gara is the proud recipient of the Lois Roach Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Boston Theatre Community and was recognized by the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf for her commitment to D/deaf and hard of hearing artists. She holds a BFA from Boston University.
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