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Emily Mann To Retire As McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director Following 2019-2020 Season

originally published: 01/11/2019

Emily Mann To Retire As McCarter Theatre's Artistic Director Following 2019-2020 Season

(PRINCETON, NJ) -- In an email sent to McCarter Theatre Center subscribers on January 11, 2019, Reginald M. Browne, Interim President, McCarter Board of Trustees delivered the news that Emily Mann would be retiring from her position as Artistic Director following the 2019-2020 season.  Mann has served as the company's Artistic Director and Resident Playwright since 1990.

Over the course of her 30 year tenure, McCarter Theatre, Mann oversaw more than 160 productions - including over 40 world premieres.  Her time will be forever remembered for leading the company to its Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1994. 

In the email, Mann said, "Three decades ago, McCarter took the brave and bold step of casting a young female artist as its artistic director, long before women writers and directors were widely embraced in American theater. After what has been an extraordinary journey, it is time to pass the torch to the next generation of artistic directors, many of whom I have been privileged to mentor, so that they may impart their own unique signatures at McCarter as I enter a new personal and professional chapter of writing and directing opportunities."

McCarter's 2019-2020 season kicked off on January 11th with the opening of The Niceties by Eleanor Burgess (directed by Kimberly Senior).  The rest of the season includes Ken Ludwig's The God's of Comedy (directed by Amanda Dehnert) from March 12-31; and Skylight by David Hare (directed by Emily Mann) from May 3 - June 2. 

"By all accounts, Emily has been a major force in shaping not only McCarter, but the course of American theater at large, as a trailblazing advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness," wrote Reginald M. Browne in the email. "Her passion for nurturing countless emerging and established artists has encouraged their creative expression, challenged convention, and enriched our collective community. Her imprint as a fierce champion of works by women and people of color and as an agent of change is as inspiring as it is indelible."

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As McCarter’s Artistic Director and Resident Playwright, Mann has overseen more than 160 productions, including more than 40 world premieres – creating a home for theater legends and amplifying the voices of women and people of color. During her tenure, the theater won the prestigious Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and Emily herself was twice nominated for Tony Awards as a playwright and director.

Her other numerous personal awards include: The Peabody Award, the Hull Warriner Award from the Dramatists Guild, a Helen Merrill Distinguished Playwright award, awards from the NAACP, eight Obie awards, a Guggenheim, the 2011 Person of the Year Award from the National Theater Conference, as well as the Margo Jones Award, given to a “citizen-of-the-theatre who has demonstrated a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of the living theatre everywhere.” Mann also received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from Princeton University.

Over the next few months, McCarter’s Board of Trustees will be formalizing a process for identifying the theater’s next Artistic Director, with a commitment to build on Emily Mann’s storied legacy to become an even more vibrant home for artists, audiences, students, trustees, and staff.

Emily Mann’s nearly 50 McCarter directing credits include productions by Shakespeare, Chekhov, Ibsen, and Williams and the recent world premieres of Christopher Durang’s Turning Off the Morning News; Ken Ludwig’s adaptation of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express; Rachel Bonds’ Five Mile Lake; Danai Gurira’s The  Convert; Sarah Treem’s The How and the Why; Christopher Durang’s Miss Witherspoon; and Edward Albee’s Me, Myself & I. Broadway: A Streetcar Named DesireAnna in the TropicsExecution of JusticeHaving Our Say. Her plays:Having Our Say, adapted from the book by Sarah L. Delany and A. Elizabeth Delany with Amy Hill Hearth; Execution of JusticeStill LifeAnnulla, An AutobiographyGreensboro (ARequiem); MeshugahMrs. Packard; and Hoodwinked (a Primer on Radical Islamism). Her new play Gloria: A Life about the legacy of Gloria Steinem is currently running off-Broadway. Adaptations: Baby DollScenes from a MarriageUncle VanyaThe Cherry OrchardA Seagull in the HamptonsThe House of Bernarda AlbaAntigone. Currently in development: The Pianist.

About McCarter Theatre Center - McCarter’s mission is to create world-class theater and present the finest artists for the engagement, education, and enter­tainment of the community. Winner of the 1994 Tony Award® for Outstanding Regional Theatre, world premieres include Christopher Durang’s Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike (2013 Tony® – Best Play); Tarell Alvin McCraney’s The Brother/Sister Plays; Emily Mann’s Having Our Say; and Danai Gurira’s The Convert. McCarter brings artists from around the world to Princeton, New Jersey including Dianne Reeves, Esperanza Spalding, Andy Borowitz, and more. Education and outreach efforts serve tens of thousands through student matinees, in-school residencies, and adult classes. More at


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Event calendar
Wednesday, Jul 24, 2019


Amigo The Devil @ House of Independents, Asbury Park - 8:00pm

311 & Dirty Heads @ PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel - 5:30pm

Take Two @ Floods Hill at Meadowland Park, South Orange - 7:30pm


East Lynne Theater Company presents THE RAINMAKER @ First Presbyterian Church (Cape May), Cape May - 8:00pm

The Penny Stinkards Present The Tempest @ Weasel Brook Park, Clifton - 7:00pm

Axelrod Presents Joseph & the Technicolor Dreamcoat @ Axelrod Performing Arts Center, Deal Park - 8:00pm

Coriolanus Shakespeare in the Park @ Atlantic Street Park, Hackensack - 7:30pm

Romeo & Juliet and Othello in Rep @ Black Box PAC, Teaneck - 8:00pm

The Metropolitan Opera: La Boheme @ Pollak Theatre @ Monmouth University, West Long Branch - 7:00pm


From Stage to Screen: Romeo and Juliet @ Hopewell Theater, Hopewell - 7:00pm

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