Stephanie Ybarra, The Public Theater’s Director of Special Artistic Projects, will be the new Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage, the company has announced. She succeeds Kwame Kwei-Armah, who left Baltimore Center Stage to become Artistic Director of London’s Young Vic Theatre in January of this year.
Ybarra, a graduate of Baylor University and the Yale School of Drama, will join the Baltimore Center Stage staff in October and assume the AD position full time in December.
The company selected Ybarra after a year long national search which Search Committee Chair Beth Falcone called “very competitive.”
Ybarra began her career in children’s theater, serving as Assistant Development Director and Publications Manager of Dallas Children’s Theater before moving to Boston and becoming the Deputy Director of Program Operations for Citizens Schools, a non-profit organization which offers academic enrichment programs to underserved kids. While getting her MFA in theater from Yale, Ybarra worked as Associate Managing Director for the school. After producing The Brothers Size for The Public Theater while still in graduate school, Ybarra became the Interim General Manager of Two River Theatre Company and Producing Director at The Playwrights Realm, a non-profit organization which supports new and emerging playwrights in the development of their works.
Ybarra joined The Public Theater on a full-time basis in 2012 as an Artistic Associate. As Director of Public Projects, she has produced work in prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers. She received Foundry Theatre’s Producer’s Chair Award in 2006 and the Josephine Abady Award from the League of Professional Theatre Women in 2012.
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“I am in awe of and inspired by Stephanie’s vision for the theater,” said Baltimore Center Stage Executive Director Michael Ross. “She has her fingertips on the pulse, and I’m thrilled and excited to partner with her in leading Baltimore Center Stage to its very bright and impactful future.”
Ybarra seems equally enthusiastic. “Baltimore Center Stage is a foundational institution for the American Theater. It is an honor to help carry its legacy forward as Artistic Director alongside the Board of Trustees, incredible staff and Executive Director Michael Ross,” said Ybarra. “To say I’m ‘thrilled’ doesn’t do justice to the wellspring of excitement and anticipation I’m feeling right now – I’m standing on some formidable shoulders, and in awe of the view.”
Ybarra will be only the third Artistic Director the company has had since 1991.
Baltimore Center Stage’s 2018-19 season:
Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Sept. 13-Oct.14)
Lauren Yees’ King of the Yees (Oct. 25-Nov.18)
Marcus Gardley’s A Wonder in My Soul (Nov. 29-Dec. 23)
Fun Home musical based on Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel (Jan. 17-Feb. 24, 2019)
Paula Vogel’s Indecent (Feb. 28-March 31, 2019) [/ezcol_1third]