Tim Sanford, who has served as artistic director of Playwrights Horizons since 1996, will step down in July 2020. Succeeding him as leader of the Off-Broadway company will be Adam Greenfield, currently the associate artistic director.
The transitional 2020–2021 season, during which Sanford will continue to be present as outgoing artistic director, will mark Playwrights Horizons’ 50th anniversary season.
Sanford began his time at Playwrights first as an intern in 1984, staying in various capacities since. Under his direction the organization opened its new 42nd Street headquarters in 2003; the five-story venue now houses a larger mainstage and a studio theatre space.
Since then, the company has produced three plays that would go on to win the Pulitzer Prize: I Am My Own Wife, Clybourne Park, and The Flick.
“The greatest gift of this organization—one which has propelled me to lead this theatre for a quarter of a century—is our clear, unchanging mission and our indispensable place in the ecology of the American theatre,” Sanford said in a statement. “It has been my great pride and privilege to lead this organization, and I am thrilled to leave it in the very capable hands of Adam Greenfield, who has been an invaluable part of the leadership team and is an extraordinarily passionate, creative advocate of writers and the artists who bring their visions to life on stage.
“We are currently in a golden age of playwriting, and Playwrights is uniquely positioned to work with a new generation of writers and continue to explore and expand the form.”
Greenfield joined Playwrights Horizons in 2007, first as literary manager. His myriad initiatives include the theatre’s Resident Company Program, the Redux Series, and the Guest Curator and Perspectives on Playwriting programs. His husband, playwright Jordan Harrison, is also a regular name at the company, which has produced his plays Marjorie Prime and Log Cabin.
“I’m thrilled for the chance to lead this extraordinary institution into its next chapter, to follow the unexpected paths that writers will forge, and to uphold theater’s distinct capacity to re-examine our lives and discover new questions,” said Greenfield.
The current season continues with the world premiere of Will Arbery's Heroes of the Fourth Turning; the lineup will later feature Lucas Hnath's The Thin Place, Daniel Goldstein and the late Michael Friedman's Unknown Soldier, Sylvia Khoury's Selling Kabul, and Jeremy O. Harris' A Boy's Company Presents: "Tell Me If I'm Hurting You".