Johanna Pfaelzer Named New Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Regional News   Johanna Pfaelzer Named New Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Pfaelzer will step down from her current position as artistic director of New York Stage and Film.
Johanna Pfaelzer
Johanna Pfaelzer

Johanna Pfaelzer will step down from her longtime leadership position at New York Stage and Film to become the new artistic director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre beginning September 1, 2019. Following her departure at the end of the company’s 2019 Powerhouse Summer Season, Pfaelzer will remain on the Board of Directors of New York Stage and Film, and will work closely with the founders and the board to identify her successor.

In 2019, Pfaelzer will succeed Tony Taccone at Berkeley Rep., who, as previously reported, is stepping down at the conclusion of the company’s 50th anniversary season (2018–2019). His departure will follow 33 years at the theatre and 22 years at its helm.

Pfaelzer has had a 20-year relationship with New York Stage and Film and has held the position of artistic director since 2007. She first worked with the company as managing producer, before joining founders Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, and Leslie Urdang as a producing director. Prior to leading the organization, she served as associate artistic director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco.

“More than three decades ago, Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang had the extraordinary vision to recognize a real and specific need in the American theatre, and to meet that need in the creation of New York Stage and Film, a place where artists could have a protected, rigorous, vibrant environment in which to develop their work,” says Pfaelzer. “Their generosity in allowing me to lead it for the last 11 years has been the greatest gift. I am grateful to the Board and staff of NYSAF for their collaboration, and especially proud of the work that we have created and the artists whose visions we have supported. I am delighted to continue to serve alongside the Founders on NYSAF’s Board, and look forward to creating future opportunities for the artists with whom I have been so fortunate to work, as I make a new home at Berkeley Rep.”

“We have been beyond fortunate that Johanna's passion, commitment and intelligence has been devoted to New York Stage and Film for the last 20 years. She has been the heart and soul of the company and developed it into a strong, flexible, diverse, meaningful, and hugely impactful institution,” added Linn-Baker, Mayer, and Urdang. “We look forward to Johanna's continuing involvement through her Board seat and her ongoing relationship with Stage and Film Producing Directors and we wish her the best of luck at Berkeley Repertory Theatre. We are certain her talents will continue to soar, and the west coast is about to get very lucky!”

New York Stage and Film will initiate a nationwide search for its next artistic director later this fall. For more information, visit

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