Two River Theater Announces Justin Waldman as New Artistic Director

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originally published: 10/11/2022

(RED BANK, NJ) — Two Rivers Theater announced Justin Waldman as the new artistic director. Waldman returns to the east coast of San Diego after an eleven-year career at the Old Globe Theater.

“I am honored to continue the legacy of Two River Theater as Artistic Director,” said Waldman. “To lead the beautiful vision of Robert and Joan Rechnitz, alongside the incredible and dedicated Board of Directors, staff, artists and artisans, is a tremendous privilege. The theater is a place of joy and wonder. I look forward to building on the excellent work of John Dias and Michael Hurst and welcoming more people to participate in the excellent, accessible and representative work and practice of Two River. Two River has the unparalleled ability to showcase beauty, expand community, and bring us all together with purposeful intent. Being its steward for a while is a passion of mine, and it’s a responsibility I carry with the utmost care.

“We are thrilled to welcome Justin on board,” said Two River Theater Board Chairman Edward J. McKenna Jr. “Justin is an accomplished performer, a daring producer, and a passionate leader of nonprofit regional theater. He believes deeply in the value of further developing Two River’s relationships with its community partners, and is also strongly committed to taking over from John Dias, expanding Two River’s impact beyond its stages in order to achieve a wider and even more inclusive audience.”

Waldman will take office on November 1, 2022 and assume responsibility for the Two River Theater’s 2022/2023 season set up during the transition by outgoing Artistic Director John Dias and General Manager Michael Hurst. Waldman will assume full programming responsibility for Two River beginning in the fall of 2023. Two River is continuing its search for a general manager and hopes to announce it later this fall.

Justin Waldman (he/him) is a theater producer and director who has brought to life over 250 productions in his 20+ year career. As Associate Artistic Director of the Old Globe Theater in San Diego, California, one of America’s flagship regional theaters, he developed new musicals and plays, American and world classics, programming from holidays and overseeing one of the country’s major Shakespeare festivals. During his tenure, the Globe transferred five productions to Broadway, including A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder (Tony Award for Best Musical), Shining star (Tony Nomination for Best Musical) and the next almost known, brought six productions to venerable New York theaters, including the Lincoln Center Theater and the Roundabout Theater Company, and premiered 35 productions. Justin was instrumental in creating the Old Globe’s Social Justice Roadmap, which charts the course for making the Globe a more just, equitable, representative, accessible and anti-racist institution.

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As an artistic associate at the Williamstown Theater Festival, he led the literary department and new play development initiatives for three seasons. Six of the 11 new plays produced went on to perform at New York theaters including Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theater Company, Playwrights Horizons, The Culture Project, and more. Other previous positions include artistic associate of the Huntington Theater Company in Boston, MA, and production artistic director of Next Stages, which he founded. Justin is a graduate of Tufts University.

Two River Theater’s 2022/23 season sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center.

Performances and programming at Two River Theater are made possible through funding from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, an agency partner of the National Endowment for the Arts. Private support includes Bank of America, The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Helen Clay Frick Foundation, The Merrill G. and Emita E. Hastings Foundation, The Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, Investors Foundation, Jewish Communal Fund, The Jewish Federation in the Heart of New Jersey, The Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, Manasquan Bank Charitable Foundation, OceanFirst Foundation, PNC Foundation, Springpoint Senior Living Foundation, The Shubert Foundation, The John Ben Snow Memorial Trust, The Stone Foundation of New Jersey, Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey, Zager Fuchs, PC, Zynergy Retirement Planning and many other generous foundations, corporations and individuals.

Two Rivers Theater produces a theatrical season that includes American and world classics, new plays and musicals, youth programs and festivals of new works. Each year, we also offer over 40 events that reflect our diverse Red Bank, New Jersey community. Two River produces works on two stages: the 350-seat Rechnitz Theater and the flexible 110-seat Marion Huber Theater. The recently opened Center for New Work, Education and Theater Design is a three-story facility that includes two rehearsal studios, artist labs, classrooms, expanded stores and offices located In the center. Two River Theater has commissioned and created original projects including be cooler by Tony Award nominee Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz (the theater’s first production on Broadway) and Hurricane Diana by former Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George (who won an Obie Award for her Off-Broadway run). In June 2019, Two River was recognized nationally by USA TODAY as one of the “Top 10 Places to See a Play” across the United States. Region.

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