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Emily Mann to retire as artistic director of McCarter Theatre Center

Emily Mann. Photo courtesy of McCarter Theatre Center.

Award-winning playwright and director Emily Mann, who has served as the artistic director and resident playwright of the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton since 1990, will retire from the position following the upcoming 2019-2020 season, McCarter Theatre announced today.

Mann’s final season, which will be announced in March, will be a capstone series of plays celebrating diverse and emerging artists that will pay homage to her 30-year tenure at McCarter Theatre.

“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,” said Mann, whose play, “Gloria: A Life,” a bio-drama based on the life of Gloria Steinem opened off-Broadway in October. “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.”

As McCarter’s artistic director and resident playwright, Mann has overseen more than 160 productions, including more than 40 world premieres. During her tenure, the theater won the Tony Award for outstanding regional theatre and Mann was nominated twice for Tony Awards as a playwright and director. Her other 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, and the Margo Jones Award, which is 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 degree from Princeton University. 

“Emily ushered in an exceptionally robust artistic period that catapulted McCarter to the world stage. She has been a trailblazing force in shaping the course of American theater through her focus on diversity and inclusiveness and her passion for nurturing scores of emerging and established artists whose creative expression has challenged convention and enriched our collective community,” said Reginald Browne, interim president of the McCarter Board of Trustees. “Her imprint as an agent of change is as inspiring as it is indelible. As both Emily and McCarter turn to our next acts, it is an honor to thank her for her lifetime of service to McCarter and salute her for the numerous achievements that have earned our theater and community worldwide recognition.”

Over the next few months, McCarter Theatre’s board of trustees will formalize a process for identifying the theater’s next artistic director.

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1 comment
  • Thank you, Emily Mann, for sharing your creative talents and exposing so many to the dramatic arts. I remember when you first arrived in Princeton and directed the students at St. Paul school in your production of Oliver.

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Sun 24

Gifts from the Sea – exhibit of photographs and poetry

March 10 @ 8:00 am - May 2 @ 8:00 pm
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Barbara Wells Studio®️ Trunk Show

March 22 @ 10:00 am - March 25 @ 5:30 pm
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Sunday Music Series at Terhune Orchards

March 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Sun 24

Sunday Music Series at Terhune Orchards Winery

March 24 @ 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
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