jakub | December 26, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Managing Director Leslie Marcus to Step Down from Playwrights Horizons


Leslie Marcus.

NEW YORK CITY: Playwrights Horizons has announced that managing director Leslie Marcus will step down in summer 2024 after 30 years in the position. The board of trustees has enlisted Tom O’Connor Consulting Group to lead the search for Marcus’s successor.

During her tenure, Marcus led the organization in partnership with three artistic directors: Don Scardino (1993-1996), Tim Sanford (1996-2020), and Adam Greenfield (2020-present). Marcus has helped Playwrights Horizons navigate numerous challenges, including 9/11, the financial crisis of 2008, and the COVID-19 pandemic, among others, and, in her final years with the institution, has worked to prepare the organization for the future. Under Marcus’s leadership, Playwrights Horizons has been recognized with four Pulitzer Prizes, nine Tony Awards, and 47 OBIEs, among many other accolades.

“One can’t overstate Leslie Marcus’s contributions to Playwrights Horizons and, by extension, to the landscape of new plays at large,” said artistic director Adam Greenfield in a statement. “For the 17 years I’ve worked at this theatre—through recessions, boom times, hurricanes, floods, a pandemic, and even a few successes—Leslie has remained a stalwart optimist, propelling our theatre into the future with savvy and faith. My sadness about her departure is offset only by my gratitude for all she’s given us.”

Prior to her leadership of Playwrights Horizons, Marcus was a senior management consultant to the mayor’s office in New York, working on the 50th anniversary celebration of the founding of the United Nations. She served as executive director of the host committee for the 1992 Democratic National Convention. She was finance director of David Dinkins’s successful 1989 campaign for mayor and finance director of Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan’s 1988 campaign for reelection. Marcus has also been the associate director of development for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the executive director of the Battery Dance Company. She has served on the board of A.R.T./New York and as a theatre panelist for the New York State Council on the Arts, and currently serves on the Arts Advisory Committee of the Hudson Yards Hell’s Kitchen Alliance.

“I’ve spent 30 years doing something I love and that I’m extraordinarily proud of,” said Marcus in a statement. “What could be more wonderful than that? What has kept me at Playwrights all these years is the creativity and spirit of innovation that exists across the organization. Our mission is our North Star, and it can never get old because it’s about what is new. I work with a remarkable staff and board. Together we support writers and artists and launch their work into the theatrical canon. Although this post-pandemic time is extremely challenging, I know that Adam’s leadership will successfully lead the way, and am gratified that an incoming managing director will arrive with a well-considered vision for the future.”

Playwrights Horizons is a writer’s theatre dedicated to the development of contemporary American playwrights and to the production of new works. As of 2022, Playwrights Horizons had an approximate budget of $11.3 million.

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