Liz Carlson has been named the interim artistic director of New York Stage and Film. Carlson, who has been with the organization for more than 15 years, most recently serving as artistic producer, will succeed current Artistic Director Chris Burney.
Burney will depart at the end of his contract in December 2022 to pursue new opportunities in education and commercial theatre. Carlson, who steps into the role of interim artistic director immediately, working alongside Burney, will program the 2023 summer season and will work with the Board over the next two years for an inclusive search for the new artistic director.
Burney, who joined NYSAF in 2019, says, “My three years at New York Stage and Film have been incredible. I am proud to have grown the company during the global pandemic through new programs and partnerships. NYSAF is an amazing community of artists, and I have been honored to support them, but having completed my contract, I’ve decided to pursue new opportunities in commercial theatre and education, while continuing to shepherd programs that serve Poughkeepsie and the greater Hudson Valley. It has been wonderful to collaborate with Liz Carlson during my tenure. Her deep history with the company and vibrant artistic vision will ensure the vital mission of New York Stage and Film.”
“Chris has formed wonderful relationships with the entire board of New York Stage and Film,” adds Board Chair Barbara Manocherian. “We feel that not many people could have helped us through the challenges of the past three years; Chris has led us through the global pandemic with strength and intelligence. We are all very excited that Liz Carlson, an extraordinary artist, producer, and leader, who has a long history with the company, will be stepping up during this period of transition. She brings a deep understanding of NYSAF and the artistic community it serves.”
“NYSAF has been evolving over the past two-and-a-half years, nimbly responding to the unexpected challenges brought on by the pandemic and embracing the call to address our infrastructure and be a better service organization for all,” states Interim Artistic Director Carlson. “As we look ahead, our core mission to be a vital developmental resource will remain as we continue to champion process. I've had the privilege of nurturing my artistic career within the NYSAF community, from a fellow to artist-in-residence to a full-time creative producer. As we move into a new chapter, I look forward to shepherding our community through this moment of transition, ripe with the opportunity to set us up to serve the needs of our artists now and in the future. I am grateful to everyone who is eager to engage in this journey with us.”
Carlson also served as the artistic director for the new works incubator Naked Angels from 2013-2016. As a director, she has developed plays and musicals with Ars Nova, The Dramatists’ Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre, The Flea, Keen Company, Manhattan School of Music, Manhattan Theatre Club, The New Group, Playwrights Horizons, The Playwrights Realm, Signature Theatre Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, and more.
Founded by Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, and Leslie Urdang in 1985, with subsequent leadership by Johanna Pfaelzer, New York Stage and Film is a not-for-profit company dedicated to artists developing new stories for theatre, film, and television by providing a home for artists free from critical and commercial pressures.