New York Theatre Workshop Artistic Director James C. Nicola has announced that he will leave the company June 30, 2022.
Over Nicola's 34-year tenure, the Off-Broadway company has developed and produced works that have gone on to win a Pulitzer Prize and 25 Tony Awards, with a roster of works that includes Rent, Homebody/Kabul, Dirty Blonde, The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, Peter and the Starcatcher, Once, Lazarus, Hadestown, What the Constitution Means to Me, and Slave Play, along with works by Caryl Churchill, Doug Wright, Martha Clarke, Will Power, Jessica Blank, Erik jensen, Dael Orlandersmith, Mfoniso Udofia, Rachel Chavkin, Ayad Akhtar, Amy Herzog, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Anne Kaufman, Celine Song, Lucas Hnath, and Elevator Repair Service.
"New York Theatre Workshop has been the greatest gift in my entire life and my proudest accomplishment,” says Nicola. “I have been honored to be a steward of this rambunctious, restless community for more than three decades—almost half my life—and I am deeply grateful to those who have given me this sustaining blessing for as long as they have.
"In July of 2022, I will reach the age of 72. In my mind, that has always been the moment to interrupt whatever patterns there might be in my life, and to leap off a cliff into reinvention. So that is my plan. My departure will be over a year from now, as I intend to see NYTW back to welcoming audiences into our theatre and provide the theatre ample time to plan for a smooth transition. I look forward to new adventures and to cheering on the next Artistic Director to create NYTW’s future."
Among Nicola's projects at the helm of NYTW was the creation of the 2050 Artistic Fellowship, a program that has provided support for early-career theatre makers since the 1990s. Alums of the program include Whitney White, Lileana Blain-Cruz, Martyna Majok, Nathan Alan Davis, and Shayok Misha Chowdhury. Nicola's pre-NYTW career includes celebrated stints at Washington D.C.'s Arena Stage, the New York Shakespeare Festival, The Young Vic, The National Theatre, and the Royal Court Theatre.
The Off-Broadway company says it will conduct a "thorough" search for a next artistic director over the coming month, committing to "an equitable and transparent process." Further details about submissions and selections for the position will be made public when that information is available.