Pearl Theatre Company Artistic Director J.R. Sullivan Announces Resignation

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08 Jul 2013

The Pearl Theatre Company announced that artistic director J.R. Sullivan will step down from his current position July 19.

Sullivan, who has served as artistic director of The Pearl Theatre Company for four years, will relocate to Chicago, where he will be married in the fall and continue directing, writing and teaching.

Sullivan has also served as the associate artistic director of the Utah Shakespearean Festival. In addition to founding Illinois' New American Theater in 1972, he has staged productions for the American Players Theatre, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Northlight and the Studio Theatre in Washington, DC.

"The Pearl's Board regrets Jim Sullivan’s decision to return to Chicago. Jim has been an outstanding Artistic Director and made numerous important contributions to The Pearl," board chair Claudia Oberweger said in a statement. "Under Jim's leadership, The Pearl's productions have been widely acclaimed for their excellence, and the company's visibility in the New York City theater community has increased dramatically. Jim oversaw the company's successful move to a beautiful new permanent home on West 42nd Street in the fall of 2012. The entire Pearl family wishes him continued professional success."

"I have greatly enjoyed my time with The Pearl Theatre Company. As artistic director for the past four seasons I have had the great privilege of working with tremendous people, from the very supportive Board of Trustees to the dedicated staff and talented artists of The Pearl," Sullivan said in a statement. "I shall always be deeply grateful for my time with The Pearl and its tremendous audience and wish the company every possible success in its future.”

Pearl staff member and dramaturg Kate Farrington has been appointed interim artistic director. Farrington has worked with many New York theatres including MCC, New York Theatre Workshop, The Public and Vital Theater. Currently an adjunct professor at Marymount Manhattan College, she has contributed to Review, the literary journal of the LMDA.

Founded in 1984, The Pearl, which is New York's only classical resident company, "has produced a body of work encompassing the full breadth of theatre history, from ancient Greek tragedy to contemporary works rooted in the classics."

In October 2012, The Pearl celebrated the opening of its first permanent home, located at 555 West 42nd Street.

The Pearl’s 30th anniversary season will begin Sept. 3 with George Bernard Shaw’s You Never Can Tell in a co-production with the Gingold Theatrical Group. The 2013-14 season also includes the premiere of four-time Tony Award winner Terrence McNally’s And Away We Go and new productions of Jean-Paul Sartre’s No Exit and Richard Brinsley Sheridan’s The Rivals.

More information can be found by visiting pearltheatre.org