(NEW YORK, NY) -- New York Stage and Film announced on October 27th that Artistic Director Chris Burney will be leaving at the end of his contract in December 2022 to pursue new, professional opportunities in education and commercial theatre. Liz Carlson, who has been part of NYSAF for more than 15 years, most recently serving as Artistic Producer, will become the Interim Artistic Director effective immediately and work alongside Burney until his departure. Carlson will program the 2023 Summer Season and work with the Board over the next two years to implement an extensive and inclusive search for a new Artistic Director.
For over 35 years, NYSAF has been considered “one of the preeminent incubators for theater in the country.” Burney joined NYSAF in 2019 and in his three years as Artistic Director, he supported artists through the pandemic with new initiatives like Nexus, online development and readings, as well as expanded mentorship opportunities.
“My three years at New York Stage and Film have been incredible. I am proud to have grown the company during the global pandemic through new programs and partnerships,” said Chris Burney. “NYSAF is an amazing community of artists and I have been honored to support them, but having completed my contract, I’ve decided to pursue new opportunities in commercial theatre and education, while continuing to shepherd programs that serve Poughkeepsie and the greater Hudson Valley. It has been wonderful to collaborate with Liz Carlson during my tenure. Her deep history with the company and vibrant artistic vision will ensure the vital mission of New York Stage and Film.”
“Chris has formed wonderful relationships with the entire board of New York Stage and Film,” said Board Chair Barbara Manocherian. “We feel that not many people could have helped us through the challenges of the past three years; Chris has led us through the global pandemic with strength and intelligence. We are all very excited that Liz Carlson, an extraordinary artist, producer, and leader, who has a long history with the company, will be stepping up during this period of transition. She brings a deep understanding of NYSAF and the artistic community it serves.”
“NYSAF has been evolving over the past two and a half years, nimbly responding to the unexpected challenges brought on by the pandemic and embracing the call to address our infrastructure and be a better service organization for all,” said Interim Artistic Director Liz Carlson. “As we look ahead, our core mission to be a vital developmental resource will remain as we continue to champion process. I've had the privilege of nurturing my artistic career within the NYSAF community, from a fellow to artist-in-residence to a full-time creative producer. As we move into a new chapter, I look forward to shepherding our community through this moment of transition, ripe with the opportunity to set us up to serve the needs of our artists now and in the future. I am grateful to everyone who is eager to engage in this journey with us.”
LIZ CARLSON (Interim Artistic Director) is an NYC-based creative producer and director committed to the development of new stories. Prior to stepping in as Interim Artistic Director, Liz produced and directed with NYSAF in various capacities over the past 15 years, notably as the full-time Artistic Producer for the past seven, supporting artists such as César Alvarez, Jaki Bradley, Lyndsey Bourne, Lily Houghton, Keelay Gipson, Jessica Huang, Melissa Li & Kit Yan, Don Nguyen, Brian Quijada & Nygel D. Robinson, Kirya Traber, Lauren Yee, and hundreds more. Liz also served as the Artistic Director for the new works incubator Naked Angels from 2013-2016. As a director, Liz has developed plays and musicals with Ars Nova, The Dramatists’ Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, Keen Company, Manhattan School of Music, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, Signature Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and more. Upcoming directing projects include a new-play workshop with Minita Gandhi at Berkeley Rep’s The Ground Floor, and the final installment of a musical podcast with the Drama Desk-nominated folk band The Lobbyists. MFA The New School for the Performing Arts, Drama. Recipient of The Drama League Fellowship.
New York Stage and Film is a not-for-profit company dedicated to artists developing new stories for theater, film and television by providing a home for artists free from critical and commercial pressures and supporting processes responsive to the needs of each particular work. Founded by Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang in 1985, with subsequent leadership by Johanna Pfaelzer, New York Stage and Film has been a vital incubator for emerging and established artists and their work, a catalyst for stories that continue across the country and around the world. The New York Times calls the company a “formidable breeding ground for new work,” and dozens of notable works trace their developmental roots to NYSAF, including the Tony Award winners Hamilton, Hadestown, Side Man,Tru, and The Humans; Broadway productions such as American Idiot, Head Over Heels, Junk and Bright Star; and Pulitzer winners and finalists such as Doubt, The Wolves and Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.