New York Stage and Film Names Christopher Burney as Artistic Director

by Stage Directions
Christopher Burney
Christopher Burney

New York Stage and Film announced that, following a nationwide search, Christopher Burney will become its next Artistic Director. Additionally, New York Stage and Film’s longtime Associate Artistic Director, Liz Carlson, has been promoted to the newly created position of Artistic Producer.

Burney will be the creative leader behind NYSAF’s programs including the Powerhouse Season in partnership with Vassar College (which has helped to develop some of the most important theater events of the last few years, including Hamilton, The Humans, Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music, and The Wolves), the NYC Reading Series, the Winter Season currently at the Lark Barebones Studio in New York, and the Filmmakers’ Workshop which provides early-career screen and television writers mentorship and creative development from industry leaders designed to bring each project closer to completion.

He was selected following an extensive process overseen by a search committee comprised of New York Stage and Film Board members and others. Beginning this spring, he will work alongside current artistic director Johanna Pfaelzer, who will program and oversee New York Stage and Film & Vassar’s 2019 Powerhouse Season prior to departing at the end of the summer to assume her new position as Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Burney joins New York Stage and Film following a distinguished career at New York’s Second Stage Theater, where he currently serves as Artistic Producer. Burney shepherded over 100 productions to its three stages, including such hits as Dear Evan Hansen; Next to Normal; Metamorphoses; By The Way, Meet Vera Stark; Notes From The Field; and the new musical Superhero, which is now in previews. Burney also was key in Second Stage’s move to the Hayes Theater, its new home on Broadway, which launched with the Broadway premiere of Lobby Hero, which received a Tony Award nomination for Best Revival of a Play.

Barbara Manocherian, President of New York Stage and Film’s Board of Directors said, “Chris’ experience developing the work of world-class artists, as well as his passion for discovering and nurturing diverse, powerful new voices, were an ideal match for New York Stage and Film. In a field of nearly 80 applicants from across the country and abroad, he stood out as the perfect person to lead the company into an exciting next chapter, and I’m delighted to welcome him on behalf of the entire Board.”

Burney said, “New York Stage and Film provides a unique home for emerging and established artists to create innovative, daring, and engaging stories for stage and screen. Through the Powerhouse Season, their commitment to film, and their other excellent work, they build vital communities for the creation of stories which impact the global arts community. I am thrilled to be joining this exceptional company and I look forward to supporting and expanding their legacy.”

Playwright Rajiv Joseph said, “Chris’s talents as a dramaturg and artistic mentor have inspired and bolstered the lives and careers of so many playwrights, myself included. He is one of a kind.”

“I am delighted to hand Chris the reins of this company that I love so much,” said Johanna Pfaelzer. “His taste is excellent, he is enormously respected by artists, and his appetite for supporting a diverse range of new work is vast. I look forward to this new era for New York Stage and Film.”

Further information from New York Stage and Film: