After gaining plaudits for directing Roundabout Theatre's All My Sons revival earlier this year, Barry Edelstein has another feather in his cap. He's been tapped to succeed David Esbjornson as artistic director of Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company.
A Rhodes scholar, Edelstein trained as a dramaturg and assistant director on the NY Shakespeare Festival's "Shakespeare Marathon." He went on to stage The Merchant of Venice and Steve Martin's Wasp and Other Plays at the Public Theatre. Other credits include How I Learned To Drive at MD's Center Stage and shows at RI's Trinity Rep and the NJ Shakespeare Festival.
Edelstein comes in June 1, replacing Esbjornson, who's served as artistic director since 1993." In a February statement announcing his decision, Esbjornson said, "I believe that CSC's artistry and management structures are at an all-time high, and that its new leadership is well-positioned to build on the company's strong reputation. I intend to help in any way that I can to ensure a smooth transition."
Edelstein praised CSC's penchant for "producing classics that speak to contemporary audiences in vivid, direct and surprising ways." In turn, CSC chairman of the board Turner Smith called Edelstein, "a gifted, visionary and successful theatre director...steeped in the classics."
At CSC, Esbjornson directed such works as Good Night Desdemona (Good Morning Juliet), Entertaining Mr. Sloane and Therese Raquin. Esbjornson's other directing credits include Dealer's Choice at Long Wharf in CT and Pick Up Axe at South Coast Rep. According to spokesperson Candi Adams (of James LL Morrison Associates), he directed Macbeth at the University of California in San Diego and will soon be staging a new musical about politician Harvey Milk in San Francisco.
For tickets and information on CSC productions, call (212) 677-4210. Special programs include the education and outreach project, "Classic Contenders," and pay-what-you-can tickets made available to those under 18. CSC was founded in 1967 by Christopher Martin, who served as artistic director until 1986.
-- By David Lefkowitz