Gersten's appointment as artistic director marks the first woman to shepherd the Massachusetts summer festival, which was founded in 1955. She previously served as associate producer at Williamstown from 1996-2004. Gersten will assume full duties at Williamstown in October.
Martin will continue in his role as artistic director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival throughout the 2010 summer season. Gersten, who has been with the Public Theater for the last three years, will depart the downtown Manhattan theatre company in late summer.
"The opportunity to return to the Williamstown Theatre Festival as artistic director brings me immeasurable satisfaction and joy," Gersten said in a statement. "Williamstown is one of my most favorite places on earth, and the combination of the memorable experiences I’ve had there, along with the future I envision for WTF, fills me with hope for what the next few years could bring. I’ve had an extraordinary six years away from the Berkshires, and brilliant mentors and collaborators at Naked Angels, The Public Theater and beyond, who have given me so many good gifts and insights. I can’t wait to come back and bring the fruits of that knowledge to bear on this new time."
For the Public, Gersten produced the 2009 Shakespeare in the Park production of Twelfth Night, as well as Richard Foreman's The Idiot Savant, Tarell Alvin McCraney's The Brother/Sister Plays, Suzan-Lori Parks' The Book of Grace and served as the associate producer of the Broadway and London revival of Hair, which originated as part of Shakespeare in the Park.
The Williamstown 2010 season will include A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (June 30-July 11), Our Town (July 28-Aug. 8) and The Fifth of July (Aug. 11-22). The Nikos Stage will host It's Jewdy's Show! (June 23-July 4), After the Revolution and Samuel J. and K.