Maria Manuela Goyanes, The Public Theater’s Director of Producing and Artistic Planning, will be the new Artistic Director of Woolly Mammoth Theater, the company announced today.
Goyanes, who, while serving as a producer, managed some of The Public’s most celebrated productions including Hamilton by Lin-Manuel Miranda, Josephine & I by Cush Jumbo, Straight White Men by Young Jean Lee, Here Lies Love by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim, and Barbecue by Woolly company member Robert O’Hara. She is also an adjunct faculty member at Julliard and curates the junior year curriculum of Playwrights Downtown, the Playwrights Horizons Theater School at NYU.
“I can’t imagine Woolly’s future in better hands. Maria…has proven herself to be both a big artistic thinker and a hands-on problem solver, both critical aspects of the role of Artistic Director,” said Howard Shalwitz, whose 38-year tenure as Woolly’s AD will come to end with the onset of the 2018-2019 season. “Maria is a great human being who will bring fresh ideas and vision to our city. I am filled with pride and great anticipation imagining the future of Woolly under Maria’s leadership.”
“To lead Woolly Mammoth—one of the most radical, inclusive, and vanguard theaters in the country—is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Goyanes. “Howard Shalwitz is a true visionary, and I am honored to build upon his founding legacy of artistic rigor, thoughtful experimentation, and field-wide innovation. I am personally inspired by how Woolly’s values show up both onstage and off, and I look forward to continuing the work of dismantling the barriers between Woolly and the kind of impact it wants to make with its art.”
Goyanes is a 2001 graduate (B.A.) of Brown University, where she won the Susan Steinfeld Award, given to Seniors who have contributed significantly to the performing arts during their undergraduate years. Between 2004 to 2012, she was the Executive Producer of 13P, a theater company whose mission was to produce new plays by 13 emerging and mid-career writers. By producing new plays by Anne Washburn, Winter Miller, Rob Handel, Gary Winter, Kate Ryan, Ann Marie Healy, Sheila Callaghan, Julia Jarcho, Lucy Thurber, Madeleine George, Young Jean Lee, Erin Courtney, and Sarah Ruhl, 13P won three Obie Awards, along with a Special Citation Obie Grant for the company as a whole.
Goyanes has also served as a member of the board of the National Alliance for Musical Theatre. From 2006 to 2008, she co-chaired the Soho Rep Writer/Director Lab with Jason Grote (This Storm is What We Call Progress, Maria/Stuart, Civilization: All You Can Eat, 1001). In 2007, she received the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women.
“Maria has a compelling vision for the art Woolly can make, the impact we can have with that art, and the ways in which everything we do can galvanize communities,” said Linette S. Hwu, President of Woolly’s Board of Directors. “She embodies the curiosity, creativity, and collaboration that have lived at the core of Woolly’s ethos for nearly 40 years, and she lights up the room with her passion for theater, both in its current form and as she sees it evolving. We’re really looking forward to working with her.”
Goyanes is a first-generation American whose parents emigrated from the Dominican Republic and Spain.
Shalwitz announced the appointment jointly with Hwu, Woolly Managing Director Meghan Pressman, and Michael Fitzpatrick, who headed up the Search Committee.