Christopher Burney has been tapped as the new artistic director of New York Stage and Film, one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country. He joins the non-profit from New York’s Second Stage Theatre, where he currently serves as artistic producer.
Burney was hired following a nationwide search. In addition, Liz Carlson, New York Stage and Film’s longtime associate artistic director, has been promoted to the newly created position of artistic producer.
Burney will be the creative leader behind the group’s programs including the Powerhouse Season in partnership with Vassar College, which has helped develop such stage hits as “Hamilton,” “The Humans,” “Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music,” and “The Wolves.” He will also oversee the organization’s 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.
“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,” Burney said in a statement. “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.”
A search committee comprised of New York Stage and Film board members and others selected Burney. 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.
At Second Stage Theatre, Burney shepherded over 100 productions to its three stages, including such hits as “Dear Evan Hansen,” “Next to Normal,” “Metamorphoses,” 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. There he oversaw the Broadway premiere of “Lobby Hero,” which received a 2018 Tony Award nomination for best revival of a play.
“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,” Barbara Manocherian, president of New York Stage and Film’s Board of Directors said in a statement. “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.”