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Wendy C. Goldberg to Leave O’Neill National Playwrights Conference

Goldberg leaves the post after 18 years, and the O’Neill will next seek an interim artistic director.

WATERFORD, CONN.: Wendy C. Goldberg will step down as artistic director of the National Playwrights Conference (NPC) after 18 years in the post.

Goldberg began her tenure at NPC in 2005 as the first woman to lead the conference in the 60-year history of the influential new-play development organization. In addition to supporting myriad playwrights, Goldberg founded and led the National Director’s Fellowship, a joint initiative of the O’Neill, the National New Play Network, Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, and the SDC Foundation. The initiative connected early-career directors to a network of writers, expanded access to professional support services, and provided opportunities for observation and experimentation, equipping directors with the skills, knowledge, and network to advance new-play development and production around the country

“The National Playwrights Conference plays such a special role in American theatre, as well as my life, and it has been an honor to work with the O’Neill leadership, staff, and particularly the hundreds of talented playwrights over the last 18 years,” said Goldberg in a statement. “To come in during such a moment of change and re-establish the company as a national leader will remain a highlight of my career. After nearly two decades, it’s time for me to turn my attention toward many other artistic endeavors.”

The National Playwright’s Conference is one of the seven core programs of the O’Neill Theatre Center. The organization is currently developing a search committee to find an interim professional to fill role of artistic director.

“We thank Wendy for her leadership over the last 18 years, helping the O’Neill build upon the vision of George C. White and NPC’s inaugural artistic director, Lloyd Richards, to support emerging and established playwrights in the development and staged readings of important works,” said Tom Viertel, chairman of the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, in a statement. “We have a strong leadership team in place, led by Tiffani Gavin, who will ensure this important part of the NPC process moves forward smoothly during this transition period.”

Applications for the summer 2023 National Playwrights Conference recently closed. The organization’s literary office will oversee the process of reading and selecting the plays to move on to the final round of review, and the O’Neill will select the six plays that playwrights will develop in-residence during the 2023 season.

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