WILLIAMSTOWN, MASS.: Artistic director Mandy Greenfield recently tendered her resignation as artistic director of Williamstown Theatre Festival (WTF), and the festival today announced the appointment of Jenny Gersten to the role of interim artistic director. Greenfield’s exit follows a storm of controversy and criticism about working conditions at the theatre.
Gersten, who served as artistic director of WTF from 2010 to 2014 and associate producer from 1996 to 2004, will take the lead of the festival as it plans its 2022 season, and, according to a press release, will “focus on driving its growth through collaborative work with all stakeholders. This will ensure a future vision that not only expands on the Festival’s well-respected legacy, but one that is accountable, safe and equitable for all.”
In a statement, WTF board chair Jeffrey Johnson thanked Greenfield “for all of the work and support during her time here; and we wish her the best of luck on her next artistic journey,” and said the board is “thrilled to welcome Jenny Gersten back to the festival community. She has a track record of success with the festival and close relationships with all of our stakeholders. After eight years away, she also brings new, dynamic ideas to our organization. This balance will help us remain focused on our mission to be a generative force in American theatre by concentrating on new work and reimagined revivals, robust training for emerging theatre professionals, and engaging a diverse community onstage, offstage, and in the audience.”
Gersten, an award-winning leader of nonprofit institutions and a producer of successful commercial theatre for more than 15 years, will retain her job as producer at New York City Center, as well as serving as a line producer on Beetlejuice, scheduled to reopen on Broadway in April 2022.
“The opportunity to come back to Williamstown is a genuine honor and, I believe, the right challenge for me at this time in my career,” said Gersten in a statement. “This is such a meaningful opportunity to address some of the valuable and honest feedback already received from the festival’s staff, artists, and the broader Williamstown community, and to continue to listen and absorb. I look forward to being part of the ongoing evolution at Williamstown Theatre Festival, and working with the board, staff and community to imagine a paradigm shift which fosters values to make the theatre a thriving home for artists and audiences for many years to come.”
While Gersten works on the 2022 season, the board will conduct nationwide search for a permanent artistic director.
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