Evan Cabnet Will Succeed Carole Rothman as Artistic Director of Second Stage | Playbill

Industry News Evan Cabnet Will Succeed Carole Rothman as Artistic Director of Second Stage

Cabnet is currently leading Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3.

Evan Cabnet Evan Zimmerman

Second Stage has chosen a new artistic director: Evan Cabnet. Currently leading Lincoln Center Theater's LCT3, Cabnet will join Second Stage in September and launch his first season of programming in fall 2025. Interim Artistic Director Bennett Leak will continue to oversee the upcoming 2024–2025 season.

Cabnet will succeed founding Artistic Director Carole Rothman, who announced her departure last year. Rothman will continue as the company's leader through August.

The move makes Lincoln Center Theater's future more unclear. LCT Artistic Director André Bishop is set to depart the company at the end of the 2024–2025 season, and Cabnet's appointment will leave the group without leadership for the more experimental LCT3 arm as well.

Cabnet's appointment isn't the only transition happening at Second Stage. The company revealed earlier this year that it has taken an out from an "unfavorable" lease at its Off-Broadway venue, home to the Tony Kiser Theater. The company's Off-Broadway productions are set to move to the Pershing Square Signature Center's Irene Diamond Stage beginning in 2025. Second Stage produces Broadway programming in the Hayes Theater.

“I am excited and humbled to bring my passion for developing, nurturing, and championing new work to Second Stage, one of New York's most vital and influential homes for contemporary theatre," says Cabnet in a statement. “As my mentor André Bishop says, we are living in a golden age of American playwriting, and Second Stage’s incredible history, and the home Carole Rothman has created for artists, sits firmly at the center of this inspiring and culturally rich moment. I hope to honor her legacy as one of the truly great leaders of the American theatre, and am looking forward to helping write the next chapter for such an extraordinary organization.”

"From the start, Evan stood out amongst his peers,” said Board Co-Chairs Kevin Brockman and Terry Lindsay in a joint statement. "He has a vast knowledge of and appreciation for American playwrights, and has spent his career championing new voices, giving opportunities to those who might not otherwise have their works showcased. He is one of the smartest and most ethical people in our community, and is beloved and admired by everyone with whom he’s worked. Just as important is his commitment to and belief in an equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace, both in front of and behind the footlights. It’s simply part of his DNA. Collaboration is key with Evan, but he’s not shy about stating opinions and is comfortable in the knowledge that the buck ultimately stops at his desk. We honestly don’t know how we got this lucky, but we’ll certainly take it. Evan is the future of Second Stage, and we can’t wait to see where he leads us."

The company's Broadway production of Branden Jacobs-Jenkins' Appropriate just won Best Revival of a Play at the 2024 Tony Awards, and is currently playing a commercial transfer run at the Belasco Theatre. Leslye Headland's Cult of Love is the theatre's next Broadway offering, with performances set to begin in November at the Hayes. Donald Margulies' Lunar Eclipse will likely become the final production at the Off-Broadway Kiser Theater.

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