Christopher Burney, whose tenure at New York’s Second Stage Theater included such hits as Dear Evan Hansen, Next to Normal and Lobby Hero, will be the new artistic director of the New York Stage and Film, the not-for-profit company that’s helped develop Hamilton, The Humans and Taylor Mac’s Pulitzer finalist A 24-Decade History of Popular Music.
Burney’s hire followed a nationwide search and was announced today by New York Stage and Film. Also announced was the promotion of Associate Artistic Director Liz Carlson to the newly created position of Artistic Producer.
As artistic director, Burney will be the creative leader behind NYSAF’s programs including the Powerhouse Season in partnership with Vassar College, the 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 from industry leaders designed to bring each project closer to completion.
Beginning this spring, Burney 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, Burney, currently the company’s artistic producer, shepherded more than 100 productions to its three stages, including Dear Evan Hansen; Next to Normal; Metamorphoses; By The Way, Meet Vera Stark; Notes From The Field; and the new musical Superhero, which is now in previews. Burney played a significant role in Second Stage’s move to Broadway’s Hayes Theater, where it staged the Broadway premiere of the Tony-nominated revival of Kenneth Lonergan’s Lobby Hero last year.
“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,” said Burney. “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.”