PHILADELPHIA: Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) has announced that producing artistic director Paige Price will end her five-year tenure at the end of the 2021-22 season. Additionally, the company’s board chair David L. Cohen has stepped down after five years, to be succeeded by Gary Deutsch. An executive search firm will be hired to conduct a nationwide search for Price’s replacement.
“In its nearly 50 years, Philadelphia Theatre Company has been a major contributor to the Philadelphia arts and culture scene and will play a crucial part in drawing audiences back to Broad Street after the pandemic,” said Cohen in a statement. “The artistic vision that Paige Price brought to Philadelphia has been a breath of fresh air for PTC, and for Philadelphia’s theatre community at large, since she stepped up as a leader in the arts and culture space beyond her PTC responsibilities. During the pandemic, Paige and [managing director] Emily Zeck were able to curate an interesting slate of performances, tap into non-traditional audiences and underserved communities, create opportunities for emerging artists through the Terrence McNally Award and, finally, launch PTC’s current season, which includes two world premieres.”
Prior to joining PTC, Price and Zeck worked together at Theatre Aspen in Colorado, leading the company in the kind of financial and organizational turnaround they would later lead PTC through in Philadelphia. During her tenure, Price led the theatre to deeper relationships with the company’s local arts community, and she participated in the Barrymore Oversight Committee, the Mayor’s Cultural Advisory Council, and as part of an arts and cultural leadership bi-weekly convening hosted by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Price also added Jeffrey Page to the company as a resident artist, brought Bebe Neuwirth back to the stage after nearly a decade, reestablished the Terrence McNally Award, commissioned the upcoming new musical The Tattooed Lady (fall 2022), and brought two world premieres to PTC.
“I’m so proud of what Paige and I have accomplished at PTC, with the tireless dedication of the staff and David Cohen’s and the board’s leadership,” said Zeck in a statement. “Paige’s ability to rise to any challenge has left PTC stronger than she found it. While we will sorely miss her, her fearlessness will inspire us as we turn this corner and begin the next adventure ahead with a new artistic leader, in conjunction with Gary [Deutsch]’s leadership of the board.”
Added Price in a statement, “Despite two interruptions in our work—one intentional, one completely unforeseen—we used the time to make substantial changes at PTC. During perhaps the most difficult year in my professional life as an artistic director, we steered the company through the unknown, with a plan to keep producing.”
Moving forward, Price will continue as an independent theatre producer based in New York, where she and her husband, Broadway sound designer Nevin Steinberg, have resided during the pandemic.
“I am proud of my five years here, working alongside Emily and the board,” said Price in a statement. “Now PTC is ready for a new artistic leader to enact a bold artistic vision, and boasts an expert staff ready to execute that vision. My only wish is for the community and the city itself to step up and prioritize the care and feeding of arts and culture, which I believe will lead to a much-needed recovery in Philadelphia.”
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