In 25 transformational years, New Georges has helped bring forth an unprecedented generation of women theater artists.
Guided by their example, the young artists who now knock on our doors have a vivid vision of the work they want to make
and what their lives in the theater can look like. Today, we
design programs to serve the most diverse, committed community of artists in our history – and support innovation
not just in new works, but new ways of working.
New Georges is:
- a risk-taker, cultivating its boundary-pushing
aesthetic in an open, nimble, artist-driven production
environment. We commit to projects early in their
development, equip them with processes rooted in strong collaborations, and provide steady artistic support so unusual plays emerge with clarity and heart.
- a hub, serving a flourishing affiliated artist community
and promoting 3-D theatrical experimentation in The Room every day of the year. Our 22-year commitment
to furnishing free or low-cost space to our artists is unique among downtown theaters and has advanced thousands of new plays.
- a launchpad, the source of first or transformative New York productions for a cohort of women playwrights
and directors now enjoying notable careers, and an
early and ongoing artistic home for many more.
In addition to productions of new plays, our activities include several varieties of new works development and – most importantly — the cultivation of a community of artists and the artistic collaborations which arise within it. New Georges
artists and the works created here consistently move forward
to impact every corner of the American theater, and the influx of our artists into the field as a whole has had marked impact on the representation of women nationwide not only in
theater, but in film, television and arts education.
New works at New Georges experiment with language, structure or elements of production, using imaginative scope, design innovation and an irreverent or refracted approach to storytelling to give form to experience. Because it
takes unusual cohesiveness of vision to bring an unusual
vision to the stage, we emphasize playwright/director
collaboration; our director-inclusive programs and project-based collaborations stand out in a playwright-driven landscape.
The Room, New Georges’ workspace, is the hub of our activities and our most pivotal resource – we offer multiple programs there and subsidize workshop space for pro-active artists driven to get their own projects off the ground: a critical program in Manhattan, where the scarcity of affordable space has significant impact on the development of new works.
Our model is hands-on, project-based, and entrepreneurial. We are administratively and programmatically nimble,
adapting to the needs of our artists as they emerge. Our mandate to serve women, female-identified, trans and gender-nonconforming artists is about opportunity, not content; it doesn’t limit the subject matter of the plays we produce. Our audiences consist of women and men in
New Georges is the recipient of three Obie Awards, has
been named to L Magazine’s “Best of NYC,” and the tdf study OUTRAGEOUS FORTUNE: the life and times of the new American play lists us as one of the top 10 theaters nationwide named by playwrights as a leading producer of their plays.
Plays we produced have received the Susan Smith Blackburn and Kesselring prizes; been named to year-end best lists in The New Yorker, Time Out New York, and the Huffington Post and included in New York Magazine’s “Approval Matrix” and The New York Times’ Indelible Moments of the Year; are published by Faber & Faber, Samuel French, Dramatists Play Service, Playscripts, Indie Theatre Now, Smith & Kraus, Seagull Books and Vintage; and have been produced again and again around the country and the world. Even in Australia.
Why butterflies? Graphic designer Noah Scalin of ALRdesign.com topped his poster for our 2003 rep productions of Lisa D’Amour’s ANNA BELLA EEMA and Alva Rogers’ belly: three shorts with butterflies bearing the faces of George Sand and George Eliot (the OLD Georges!). They were updated for our 2013 website re-design.
Producing artistic director Susan Bernfield co-founded New Georges in 1992. She’s also a playwright and solo performer whose works include SIZZLE SIZZLE FLY (EST Sloan Commission); MY LAST CAR (in a living room near you; undergroundzero 2014); STRETCH (a fantasia) (People’s Light & Theatre; New Georges; STT’s Ice Factory Festival; published by Playscripts); TANIA IN THE GETAWAY VAN (New Harmony Project); BARKING GIRL (Chrysalis Theater Co.; O’Neill Playwrights Conference); BIG HUNGRY WORLD (First Light/EST); OUT FROM UNDER IT (Vital Theatre; published by Indie Theatre Now); a solo musical, TINY FEATS OF COWARDICE (music, Rachel Peters; FringeNYC; Adirondack Theatre Festival). Susan is the recipient of the 2014 Lilly Award for producing; serves as president of A.R.T./New York (the Alliance of Resident Theaters) and on the boards of The Indie Theater Fund, The Assembly and 3LD Art & Technology Center; is on the advisory council of the Drama League’s Beatrice Terry Residency; and is a member of the National Theatre Conference. She is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and trained as an actor at Circle in the Square.
Read an article about her in the Penn Gazette
“I like this story because it really gets at why we do the kind of work we do”
Deputy artistic director Sarah Cameron Sunde met Susan 3 days after moving to New York and has been on staff at New Georges since 2001. She directs new plays and creates inter-disciplinary live art with her group of collaborators, Lydian Junction. New Georges directing projects include THE DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL (2010) and GOOD HEIF (2007). With Oslo Elsewhere, she is responsible for bringing the work of Norwegian playwright Jon Fosse to the United States, directing 5 critically-acclaimed U.S. premieres in NYC: NIGHT SINGS ITS SONGS (2004), DEATHVARIATIONS (2006), SA KA LA (2008), A SUMMER DAY at Rattlestick (2012) and DREAM OF AUTUMN at Quantum Theatre in Pittsburgh (2013). Her translations have been published by PAJ, she’s a core member of Theatre Without Borders, and she speaks regularly on the art of translation. She’s also directed the U.S. premiere of THE ASPHALT KISS by Nelson Rodrigues (Brazil’s leading playwright, 59E59), THE AMISH PROJECT (Rattlestick), NO PLACE CALLED HOME (3LD, Kennedy Center, Illusion Theater), WHAT MAY FALL (Guthrie Studio), UNNAMED BROADWAY MUSICAL,THE MUSICAL with Kara Hearn at EFA Project Space and performances with Lydian Junction at Figment, 3LD, BAX and [the end]. Honors include the American Scandinavian Society Artist Award; Hermitage Foundation Residency; NYtheatre.com Person-of-the-Year Award; and a Princess Grace Award.
And hear how she got her start in this TCGCircle video!
Managing director Jaynie Saunders Tiller was the Associate Director of Development for A.R.T./New York, the service and advocacy organization for New York City’s not-for-profit theatres, before coming to New Georges in 2011. Before moving to New York, she worked for five years in the artistic office at Dallas Theater Center, where she co-produced the Fresh Ink/Forward Motion Series, comprised of presentations and workshop productions of new works. Jaynie has served on panels for the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Brooklyn Arts Council and A.R.T./New York; she also serves on the Brooklyn College/MFA Managers Alumni Board. Originally from Houston, Texas, Jaynie holds a B.F.A. in Drama Performance and a B.F.A. in Musical Theatre Performance from The University of Oklahoma and an M.F.A. in Performing Arts Management from Brooklyn College.
New play advocate Sonya Sobieski has been an Affiliated Artist with the unfailingly supportive New Georges since 1992. Productions with NG include a full length, Commedia dell Smartass, and a one-act musical, Still Waters, as well as short plays Last Laugh and Pretty Is As. Additional productions/readings with Flying Carpet Theatre, Studio 42, Woodshed Collective, Vital Theatre, Clubbed Thumb, and The Pulp Stage. MFA in playwriting from Brooklyn College. Lecturer in dramaturgy at the NYU School of Professional Studies. Former Literary Manager of Playwrights Horizons. Writer for The Brooklyn Rail. Moonlights as The Play Whisperer.
photo above: Jaynie, Susan, Sarah at New Georges’ 20th Birthday Bash, March 3, 2012; Karla Carballar