jakub | October 30, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Roberta Pereira to Leave Playwrights Realm to Lead NY Performing Arts Library


Roberta Pereira. (Photo by Jonathan Blanc)

NEW YORK CITY: The Playwrights Realm has announced that executive director Roberta Pereira will depart the organization at the end of this year to become the new Barbara G. and Lawrence A. Fleischman executive director of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. She will succeed Linda Murray in the position, who has served as interim director since May 2022 while maintaining her position as Anne H. Bass curator of the Jerome Robbins Dance Division and associate director for the library’s collections and research services. The Playwrights Realm plans to conduct a nationwide search for its new executive director.

“We are a public institution dedicated to sharing knowledge with all and to nurturing the next generation of scholars, artists, and performers,” said Brent Reidy, NYPL’s Andrew W. Mellon director for the research libraries, in a statement. “Roberta is a proven leader and visionary voice in the arts whose unique career aligns perfectly with our mission. We are thrilled to welcome her and excited to see what she will accomplish as the head of one of the greatest performing arts research libraries in the world.”

Originally from Brazil, Pereira has lived in New York City for 15 years and will be the first Latinx director of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. Roberta has developed and produced plays, musicals, and event theatre on Broadway, Off-Broadway, regionally, in the West End, and on tour. She produced the world premiere of The Wolves by Sarah DeLappe, the Tony-nominated play Mothers and Sons by Terrence McNally, and the Olivier-winning revival of Stephen Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along. Along with fellow producer Brisa Trinchero, Roberta launched Dress Circle Publishing, a book publishing company dedicated to Broadway. Alongside theatremakers Stephanie Ybarra, Jacob G. Padrón, and David Roberts, Roberta co-founded the Artists Anti-Racist Coalition, and also acts as a programming consultant for the Miranda Family Fellowship.

“I am honored and excited to be joining the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts,” said Pereira in a statement. “I have spent my career working to make theatre and the arts accessible to all, which is at the heart of the library’s mission as a public institution. The breadth and volume of performing arts history that live within the walls of the Library for the Performing Arts is incredible—to know that all of this is available to anyone is inspiring. There’s nothing else like it, and I’m thrilled to be a part of the team that is dedicated to helping even more people access these world-class collections.”

The Playwrights Realm is an Off-Broadway nonprofit theatre company devoted to supporting early-career playwrights. As of 2022, the Playwrights Realm had an approximate budget of $1 million.

The Library for the Performing Arts is one of NYPL’s renowned research libraries. It houses one of the world’s most extensive research collections in the fields of theatre, film, dance, music, and recorded sound, containing more than eight million items, as well as a wide array of circulating and reference materials.

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