PHILADELPHIA: After a nationwide search, Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) has found its new artistic leadership in the husband-and-wife team of Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky, who will serve as the theatre’s co-artistic directors. Following the five-year tenure of Paige Price, who stepped down to focus on commercial theatre producing, Magar and Dobrowsky will start their official duties this September.
Magar is an Egyptian American director whose work has been seen across the U.S. as well as internationally, and her many accolades include an Obie for directing (2018’s Is God Is by Aleshea Harris), the “Break Out Award” from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union, and her Lortel-winning revival of Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992, which is set to open at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., this fall. Dobrowsky is the former associate artistic director and director of new-play development at Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-winning theatre located in Providence, R.I., who has two decades of experience producing regional theater, with a particular focus on community engagement, education programs, and new-play development. Magar and Dobrowsky will work alongside current PTC managing director Emily Zeck.
“I am very excited about Taibi and Tyler joining PTC as co-artistic directors,” said PTC board chair Gary Deutsch in a statement. “Taibi and Tyler are rising stars in the theatrical world, and their artistic leadership will energize PTC and the Philadelphia performing arts community. PTC is embracing a new leadership model that will take advantage of Taibi and Tyler’s complementary strengths. They share PTC’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility, and they will advance our goals of expanding PTC’s constituency and bringing entertaining and thought-provoking programs to the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.”
“Taibi and Tyler are a jolt of energy that will propel PTC into our next chapter,” said managing director Zeck, who started with the company five years ago, in a statement. “Their commitment to make excellent art while also representing Philadelphia on and off the stage is their magic, and it’s more than the sum of their two individual talents. I can’t wait to see how PTC will contribute to, and even shift, the American theatrical canon under their artistic leadership.”
For the nationwide search, PTC utilized the services of ALJP Consulting. ALJP is a search firm that has set out to reimagine the arts and culture sector, placing inclusion and equity at the heart of what they do.
Magar and Dobrowsky have worked together before. Last fall they co-directed Macbeth in Stride, written by Obie winner Whitney White, at American Repertory Theater. They also worked together on the theatrical adaptation of Mike Stanton’s New York Times best-seller The Prince of Providence at Trinity Rep. Magar’s connections to the Philadelphia scene include directing Lighting Rod Special’s Underground Railroad Game and serving as a senior lecturer at University of the Arts. Dobrowsky has commissioned works from such writers as George Brant, Jackie Sibblies Drury, James Ijames, Whitney White, and Lauren Yee, among others.
Said Magar in a statement, “We can’t wait to work with the truly fantastic artists in Philadelphia and bring our network of collaborators to PTC in order to develop the best new plays in the country right here in Philly.”
Added Dobrowsky in a statement, “Community engagement and education are inextricably linked to who we are as people and as artists. It is a humbling, thrilling opportunity to make our artistic and creative home in such a vibrant city like Philly. We can’t wait to develop educational opportunities for the young people of this city, and to start building mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships with community groups throughout Philadelphia and beyond.”
Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company has presented 203 world and Philadelphia premieres. More than 50 percent of PTC’s world premieres have moved on to New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new play development. As of 2020, the theatre’s budget was close to $2.8 million.
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