Long Wharf Theatre has selected Jacob G. Padrón as Artistic Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). He will begin his tenure on February 1, 2019.
Mr. Padrón combines extensive industry experience—posts at The Public Theater, Steppenwolf Theatre, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival—with a vision for what is possible and what is next. In 2016 he founded The Sol Project, a national theater initiative that showcases Latinx playwrights and artists of color through collaborative partnerships with leading theaters in New York and across the country, most recently with Yale Rep (El Huracán). As its Founder and Artistic Director, The Sol Project cultivated a network of Off-Broadway and regional theaters committed to building a body of work by Latinx writers for the new American theater. Mr. Padrón also recently served on the staff at WarnerMedia (HBO, Warner Bros., and Turner), where he helped lead the company’s philanthropy in theater and film.
In making the announcement, Board of Trustees Chair Laura Pappano said, “Jacob Padrón is the future of American theater. He represents an exciting new generation of theater leaders—people who are humble, creative, curious, dynamic—and who have an ear for the fresh voices and ideas that make live theater so relevant and necessary. He comes to Long Wharf Theatre at an ideal moment as we refresh and reset the theater for a new era, one that respects the past but also seizes on the role theater can have in public life. Jacob accentuates all the best things Long Wharf has always stood for, including a passion for new work, and a dedication to nurturing talent. While, of course, bringing our audiences compelling, high quality theater (and a first peek at tomorrow’s stars).”
An inaugural recipient of the SPARK Leadership Program administered by Theatre Communications Group (TCG), Mr. Padrón has adjudicated on grant panels for TCG, Network of Ensemble Theaters, The Drama League, Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation, United States Artists, and American Theatre Wing. In addition to serving on the faculty at Yale School of Drama, he also sits on the board of directors for People’s Theatre Project based in Washington Heights, New York.
“Long Wharf Theatre is one of the most important companies in the American theater,” said Mr. Padrón. “I am overjoyed to join the board, staff, and New Haven community as we embark on this new journey and aim to build a boundary breaking future together.”
Mr. Padrón is also co-founder of Tilted Field Productions and the Artists’ Anti-Racism Coalition as well as an alumnus of the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, a volunteer program committed to social justice around the world. He holds a bachelor of arts degree from Loyola Marymount University and a master of fine arts degree from Yale School of Drama.
“The board has made a perfect choice. Jacob is the total package. He will continue to make Long Wharf an artistic home for the country’s most exciting theatre artists. By living here, he will be attuned to the tastes and interests of our community. Also, he is a kind, generous, and thoughtful individual, who will make a terrific partner and leader. I am greatly looking forward to our work in the coming years,” said Managing Director Joshua Borenstein.
“A hearty congratulations to Jacob and the Long Wharf board, staff, and dynamic community it serves,” said Dr. Bruce D. Thibodeau, ACG President. “With more than 165 applicants from extremely diverse personal and professional backgrounds, the caliber of candidates was simply outstanding. I highly commend the Long Wharf search committee for its commitment to a rigorous, inclusive, and equitable process and I deeply thank my ACG colleagues for their ongoing dedication to candidate accessibility and client service.”
Photo: Marc J. Franklin