Taibi Magar & Tyler Dobrowsky Named PTC's New co-Artistic Directors
Friday, August 19, 2022
PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES TAIBI MAGAR AND TYLER DOBROWSKY AS NEW CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTORS FOR COMPANY’S NEXT CHAPTER
Philadelphia, PA - After a nation-wide search, the Board of Directors of Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) has found its new artistic leadership: the company is thrilled to welcome the nationally acclaimed husband-and-wife team of Taibi Magar and Tyler Dobrowsky as PTC’s new co-Artistic Directors. Following the five-year tenure of Paige Price, who stepped down to focus on commercial theatre producing, Magar and Dobrowsky will start their official duties this September. Magar is an Egyptian-American director whose work has been seen across the US as well as internationally, and her many accolades include an Obie Award for Directing (2018, Is God Is by Aleshea Harris), the “Break Out Award” from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Union and her Lortel-winning revival of Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 is set to open at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, MA, this fall. Dobrowsky is the former Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony-award winning theater located in Providence, RI. He has two decades of experience producing high-quality regional theater, with a particular focus on community engagement, creating education programs for young people, and developing world premiere plays and musicals. Together they possess a robust artistic skill set, a broad, deep network of actors, directors, and playwrights, and world class directing and producing abilities. They will partner with current Managing Director Emily Zeck to set the stage for PTC’s new chapter, which begins this fall with the World Premiere of The Tattooed Lady opening Friday, November 4, as PTC celebrates 15 years in the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.
“I am very excited about Taibi and Tyler joining PTC as Co-Artistic Directors,” said PTC Board Chair Gary Deutsch. “Taibi and Tyler are rising stars in the theatrical world, and their artistic leadership will energize PTC and the Philadelphia performing arts community. PTC is embracing a new leadership model that will take advantage of Taibi and Tyler’s complementary strengths. They share PTC’s commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility and they will advance our goals of expanding PTC’s constituency and bringing entertaining and thought-provoking programs to the Suzanne Roberts Theatre.”
Zeck, who started with PTC five years ago, is looking forward to this new partnership. She is excited about their energy and what both of them bring to the table to move PTC into the future.
“Taibi and Tyler are a jolt of energy that will propel PTC into our next chapter,” said Zeck. “They are so excited to learn and provide what Philadelphia wants and needs from PTC, and we are ready for it. Their commitment to make excellent art while also representing Philadelphia on and off the stage is their magic, and it's more than the sum of their two individual talents. I can't wait to see how PTC will contribute to - and even shift - the American theatrical canon under their artistic leadership.”
For the nationwide search, PTC utilized the services of ALJP Consulting. ALJP is a search firm that has set out to reimagine the arts and culture sector and places inclusion and equity at the heart of what they do.
"The candidate pool for this search was incredibly strong with vibrant artists,” said ALJP Principal Al Heartly. “Tyler and Taibi stood out to stakeholders as a pair that could bring innovative ideas with their leadership model to Philadelphia Theatre Company and the Philadelphia community as a whole. Leading and operating theaters, especially in light of the last few years, has only become more complex. The idea of having more voices in the room to make difficult choices always makes for better decision making.”
For the new Co-Artistic Directors, Magar and Dobrowsky were drawn to PTC for its commitment to high artistic quality, and its dedication to new work. They have both developed new plays throughout their careers, Magar as a director and Dobrowsky as a producer. In the fall of 2021 they co-directed Macbeth in Stride written by Obie-winner Whitney White at American Repertory Theater. They also worked together on the theatrical adaptation of Mike Stanton’s New York Times best-seller The Prince of Providence at Trinity Repertory Company, the highest grossing show in Trinity Rep’s history. Magar also has local connections to the Philadelphia community – she directed Lighting Rod Special’s international sensation Underground Railroad Game and was a Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts. Dobrowsky has a rich background in commissioning new works by writers such as George Brant, Jackie Sibblies Drury, James Ijames, Whitney White, and Lauren Yee, among others.
“It’s especially gratifying when a new play you’ve shepherded and produced goes on to have a rich, full life either in New York or across the country,” said Magar. “We can’t wait to work with the truly fantastic artists in Philadelphia and bring our network of collaborators to PTC in order to develop the best new plays in the country right here in Philly.”
Dobrowsky and Magar have a deep interest in community engagement and the educational side of theatre. “Community engagement and education are inextricably linked to who we are as people, and as artists,” said Dobrowsky. “It is a humbling, thrilling opportunity to make our artistic and creative home in such a vibrant city like Philly. We can’t wait to develop educational opportunities for the young people of this city, and to start building mutually beneficial, reciprocal relationships with community groups throughout Philadelphia and beyond.”
The pair looks forward to making their mark on the Philadelphia theatre landscape.
“Philadelphia should know that we will always put the highest quality theater on our stage,” said Magar. “And this high quality theater will be tied to our profound commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility.”
“We believe a theater isn’t just a place to see great plays, but that it should also be an integral part of the social, cultural and civic fabric of the city,” said Dobrowsky. “We want PTC to be a public square, a place for communal gathering, reflection, and learning – a community center dedicated to art and culture that reflects this beautiful, diverse city. We want to emphasize the ‘Philadelphia’ in Philadelphia Theatre Company.”
PTC’s 48th anniversary season includes a major world premiere, a Philadelphia premiere, and a modern classic that all explore the idea of liberation and being freed from social norms, barriers and stereotypes. The 2022-23 Season gets off to an electrifying start with the world premiere of The Tattooed Lady, a new musical by co-librettists Erin Courtney and Max Vernon with music and lyrics by Max Vernon, developed with and directed by Ellie Heyman. This much-anticipated musical was first conceived as part of the Kimmel Center’s Theater Residency before being further developed and then commissioned by PTC. The story explores the lives and legacies of a century of tattooed ladies from the 1880s through the 1980s. It runs October 28 to November 20, 2022.
Next up, audiences will be introduced to the Philadelphia Premiere of Empathitrax by local writer and actress Ana Nogueira, who appeared on “The Vampire Diaries” and originated the role of Eliza in early workshops of Hamilton. This futuristic darkly funny sci-fi story about a young couple who turn to a breakthrough in pharmacology to save their struggling relationship runs February 10 to March 5, 2023. Noted Philadelphia director Nell Bang Jensen, who directed PTC’s digital production of The Wolves, returns to direct this hilarious futuristic story. The season will close with Lanie Robertson’s modern classic about one of Billie Holiday’s final performances in the City of Brotherly Love, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Lady Day’s songs will be center stage April 7 to April 30, 2023. PTC Resident Artist Jeffrey L. Page, who will have just finished co-directing the Broadway revival of 1776, is reminaging this incredible look at a final performance of a legend.
Subscription packages are now on sale from $57 to $147 (30% off single ticket prices). Subscriptions are available online at www.philatheatreco.org or by phone at 215-985-0420 X1. Single tickets will go on sale September 6. PTC is dedicated to providing all audiences with access to the arts and its communities. Special discounts and rates are available for select groups. Audio described, open captioned and ASL interpreted performances will also be available in the 2022-23 Season. All shows are performed at PTC’s home at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre, 480 South Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19146. Connect with Philadelphia Theatre Company for the latest updates on social at @philatheatreco on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.
ABOUT THE NEW CO-ARTISTIC DIRECTORS
Taibi Magar is an Egyptian-American director, based in New York, whose work is focused at the intersection of imagination and social justice. After all, if you can’t imagine it, you can’t fight for it. Because of this, her work is known for being visually and theatrically explosive, grounded in potent performances, and always fighting for the underdog.
She is a graduate of the Brown University MFA program. Most recently she directed Help (The Shed), Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 (Signature Theatre, Lortel Winning ). Other NY credits include: Capsule by Whitney White and Peter Mark Kendall (Under the Radar Festival/The Public Theater, co-directed with Tyler Dobrowsky) Blue Ridge starring Marin Ireland and The Great Leap starring BD Wong (Atlantic Theater Company); Is God Is (Soho Rep, 2018 Obie Award;) Master (The Foundry, NYT Critics Pick); and Underground Railroad Game (Ars Nova, NYT Critics Pick). She also premiered the new musicals Macbeth In Stride and l We Live In Cairo at A.R.T. Boston. Additionally, she is connected to developing the commercial theatrical adaptation of Wonder by Jill Furman (book by Bess Wohl, music and lyrics by A Great Big World). Regional: CTG, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Alley Theatre, The Guthrie Theater, and Seattle Repertory Theatre, among others. International: Hamburg Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Malthouse Theatre (Melbourne), and Soho Theatre (London). Other: She is the recipient of a Stephen Sondheim Fellowship, Oregon Shakespeare Festival Fellowship, Public Theater Shakespeare Fellowship, and TFANA Actors and Director Project Fellowship. Taibi is an alumni of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a NYTW Usual Suspect.
She received an Obie Award in 2018 and the SDC Breakout Award in 2019. Taibi has directed and taught at many academic institutions, including University of the Arts, Juilliard, Fordham University, New York University and Brown University.
Tyler Dobrowsky is a theater director, producer, and educator. For over ten years, he worked at Trinity Repertory Company, a Tony Award-winning theater located in Providence, RI, as their Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development, where he oversaw their education, community engagement, and artistic departments. While there he commissioned a number of writers and artists, such as George Brant, Charise Castro-Smith, Jackie Sibblies Drury, Miranda Rose Hall, Orlando Hernandez, James Ijames, Katie Pearl, Deb Salem Smith, Mark Valdez, Whitney White, Laurie Woolery, and Lauren Yee. Tyler also produced the stage adaptation of Mike Stanton’s New York Times best-seller, The Prince of Providence, which became Trinity Rep’s highest selling show of all time. Among his proudest accomplishments at Trinity Rep include co-founding YASI, Trinity Rep’s summer camp for young people, and, working with Rebecca Noon, Marta Martinez and Rhode Island Latino Arts, developed a free, bilingual, mobile theater program, Teatro en el Verano, which brings bilingual theater to communities across Rhode Island. Favorite directing credits include: A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Little Shop of Horrors, and the world premiere of Into The Breeches at Trinity Rep, Macbeth in Stride at A.R.T.; The Big Meal and Morality Play at the Gamm Theater; Capsule for The Public’s Under the Radar Festival; and working with the MFA students at PlayMakers/UNC and Asolo Rep/FSU. He has taught at Boston University, the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA program, NYU/Tisch, Rhode Island College, and a number of other colleges and universities. Most recently he was the Practitioner-in-Residence at Brown University’s Swearer Center for Public Service. As part of that residency, he and his wife, Taibi Magar, collaborated with the City of Providence to co-direct and produce a community-infused public art project entitled “A Pageant for Providence,” featuring over 100 local artists. Tyler attended Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, for his undergrad, and received his Masters in Urban Education Policy from Brown University.
ABOUT PHILADELPHIA THEATRE COMPANY
Philadelphia Theatre Company (PTC) is a leading regional theater company that produces, develops, and presents entertaining and imaginative contemporary theater focused on the American experience.
Founded in 1974, Philadelphia Theatre Company has presented 203 World and Philadelphia premieres. More than 50 percent of PTC’s world premieres have moved on to New York and other major cities, helping to earn Philadelphia a national reputation as a hub for new play development. In 2007, PTC was instrumental in expanding Philadelphia’s thriving cultural corridor by opening the Suzanne Roberts Theatre on the Avenue of the Arts.
PTC recently announced Stephanie Kyung Sun Walters as the winner of its 2022 Terrence McNally Award. She joins prior recipient Donja R. Love as the second playwright to receive the Award that PTC revived in 2021 to focus on Philadelphia writers.