Lincoln Center taps Bartlett Sher

Resident director to helm one play per year

Lincoln Center Theater has named Bartlett Sher resident director, with a commitment that he will helm one production per year.

The appointment formalizes a collaboration that has yielded critical kudos and two of the company’s biggest hits in recent years.

Sher won a Tony this year for his staging of Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “South Pacific,” which continues to play to SRO crowds in an open-ended run on LCT’s Broadway stage, the Vivian Beaumont Theater. Also for LCT, he directed the Adam Guettel-Craig Lucas musical “The Light in the Piazza,” which ran for more than a year three seasons back. In 2006, he staged a Broadway revival of Clifford Odets’ “Awake and Sing!” for the company.

Those three productions garnered LCT a total of 15 Tony awards.

In addition to directing one LCT show each season, Sher will serve as a general consultant to artistic director Andre Bishop. While no details have been announced, he will direct his first show under the new LCT deal in a Broadway house next spring.

Sher last season staged “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” for the Met in New York, where he also is scheduled to direct “The Tales of Hoffman” next season. Next up, he will helm Lucas’ play “Prayer for My Enemy” Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, beginning previews Nov. 14 for a Dec. 9 opening.

Sher also will continue as artistic director of Seattle’s Intiman Theater, a role he has filled since 2000. The company recently added a new production of “Othello” staged by Sher to its 2009 season lineup.

In other LCT news, David Adjmi’s “Stunning” will be the second offering in the inaugural LCT3 season, devoted to new work from emerging playwrights, directors and designers.

Running June 1-27 at the Duke on 42nd Street, the play focuses on a newly married teenager in an insular Syrian-Jewish Brooklyn community, whose life is disrupted by the arrival of an African-American housekeeper. Anne Kaufmann directs the production, which will star Charlayne Woodard with additional cast to be announced.

Adjmi’s “The Evildoers” was presented last season at Yale Rep.

LCT3’s first production, the hip-hop solo musical “Clay,” opened at the Duke Oct. 15 and plays through Nov. 8. Headed by Paige Evans, the new program aims to elevate young artists beyond the grind of workshops and developmental readings via fully staged, modestly budgeted productions at affordable prices (top ticket is $20). A permanent LCT3 venue is expected to be ready in 2011.