Loretta Greco New Huntington Theatre Artistic Director
Joins Company in July
By: Huntington - Feb 15, 2022
Chairman David Epstein and President Sharon Malt, on behalf of The Huntington’s Board of Trustees and Advisors, announced today the appointment of acclaimed stage director, producer, and community builder Loretta Greco as The Huntington’s next Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director. She will be the first woman in the role and the fourth artistic leader in The Huntington’s 40-year history. She will begin immediately on a consultant basis and join the company full time starting July 1, 2022.
In her 12-year tenure as artistic director of San Francisco’s Magic Theatre, she created an artistic home for a wide range of writers such as Luis Alfaro, Jessica Hagedorn, John Kolvenbach, Taylor Mac, Sam Shepard, Octavio Solis, Lloyd Suh, and Mfoniso Udofia. As a prolific freelance director, she has directed a wide range of premieres to reimagined classics and has been produced all over the country. Previously she was producing artistic director of the WP Theater (formerly known as the Women's Project) in New York City, and was associate director and staff producer of McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ.
Widely recognized as a passionate advocate for BIPOC artists and a champion of new plays, Greco has a track record of fostering a nurturing, inclusive environment for staff, artists, and their work, as well as engaging the community to create robust collaborations and partnerships.
Her artistic collaborators praise her for her authenticity, generosity of spirit, and infectious energy, in addition to her natural leadership and commitment to artistic excellence.
“Loretta Greco is a breathtaking director; a rigorous, demanding artist with a decidedly human touch,” says playwright and collaborator Mfoniso Udofia, author of Sojourners and runboyrun. “Under her brilliant leadership, the Magic Theatre became one of the most committed and staunchest supporters of my work. No play is too hard. No idea too grand. And I am confident that she will bring heart, rigor, and scintillating theatre to The Huntington."
“Loretta is one of the great humans working in the American theatre. Inspirational, committed, so insightful, craft up the wazoo, years of experience demanding inclusion, and a blast to be with,” says author and performance artist Taylor Mac, author of Pulitzer finalist A 24-Decade History of Popular Music and Gary: A Sequel to Titus Andronicus. “I couldn’t be more thrilled for The Huntington and their community. I’m so jealous they get to hang out with her every day.”
“Loretta Greco is a natural, transformative, and proven leader,” says Lloyd Suh, author of The Chinese Lady, American Hwangap, and others. “She works so hard and cares so deeply, not just about the work but about the people who make it. She's made an enormous impact on my life and career, and I'm confident she'll do the same for the entire Huntington community.”
“Loretta is a genuine champion of playwrights,” says playwright Joshua Harmon, author of Bad Jews and Prayer for the French Republic. “She takes big risks, she makes bold moves, and she does it with more heart than almost anyone I know. She is fiercely intelligent, passionate, and nurturing. I am thrilled for my friend, and even more thrilled for The Huntington, Boston, and the American theatre – it is a victory for all of us to have someone so excellent and so worthy at the helm of this wonderful institution.”
“Loretta is a collaborator to the core and a joy to work with,” says Carey Perloff, former Artistic Director of San Francisco’s American Conservatory Theater where Greco frequently directed. “She has championed and supported a wide range of diverse work, and has as strong an affinity for classical work as for contemporary artists. She’s a big thinker and a caring human being with a wonderful sense of humor. I'm sure she'll be a great fit for Boston and for The Huntington because she's deeply engaged with audiences and is invested in becoming part of the community. Theatre is a community resource, and theatre and community are inextricably tied together for Loretta. I can't wait to see what she does in her new position.”
“Get your theatre and community ready for the liveliest blast of sunshine into your stages through her directing, programming, visioning, outreaching, and opening night dinners!” exclaims Sean San José, current artistic director of the Magic Theatre. “You are getting a leader of the loveliest, liveliest sort. Someone who loves writers, who lives to work, who was born to create, and who does it all like a family dinner – filled with excitement and energía.”
Emily Mann, former artistic director of the McCarter Theatre Center and mentor to Greco, says, "Loretta Greco is a consummate artist, a visionary leader, and a community builder of the highest order. She knows how to put theatre in the center of community discourse, and she will do so by bringing the finest artists to The Huntington. I could not be happier for the Boston community and for the American theatre at large."
Huntington artists such as actor Adrian Roberts and director Awoye Timpo, who both have previously collaborated with Greco, are enthusiastic about her appointment and what it means for Boston. Timpo is the director of The Huntington’s current hit production of The Bluest Eye, and Roberts has appeared previously at The Huntington in Ruined (directed by Liesl Tommy) and Raisin in the Sun (directed by Kenny Leon).
“Loretta has been instrumental in lifting me up as an actor of color. I’m indebted to her for much of the success I’ve had,” shares Roberts, who has appeared in many productions at the Magic and those helmed by Greco at ACT and Cal Shakes. “She will be brilliant in Boston when it comes to lifting up social justice for all. She champions everyone, and I mean everyone. What I love about her is that she deals with the times we live in both onstage and off.”
“Loretta Greco is a fearless leader, champion of artists, and brilliant curator,” says Timpo. “What a thrill to know that she will be taking the helm of the Huntington!”
Greco joins The Huntington at an exciting time of great transformation for the company and is eager to immerse herself in the Boston community. Alongside Managing Director Michael Maso, she will lead an organization of 120 full-time staff members with an annual budget of $18 million, producing 7-8 shows and serving 200,000 audience members in multiple venues each season. And she will play a leading role in The Huntington’s commitment to becoming a more equitable and antiracist organization, its navigations coming out of the pandemic, and the major renovation of the Huntington Theatre, currently well underway and scheduled to reopen in Fall 2022.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be named the next Artistic Director of this extraordinary theatre company,” says Greco. “I‘ve been so inspired by The Huntington’s commitment to animating impactful conversations between new and newly imagined work created by a wildly diverse array of world-class artists – and by the passionate, deeply mindful, and longstanding engagement within the community. It will be my great privilege to serve the magnificent city of Boston, alongside Michael Maso and the dedicated Huntington staff and board, as we conjure together a thrillingly inclusive, surprising, and transformative new era.”
“Loretta Greco is a proven, fierce, and passionate advocate for writers and a fearless theatrical producer,” says Maso. “She will bring an unmatched talent for true collaboration to The Huntington’s stage, to our staff and our board, and to the Boston theatre community. I could not be more delighted at her acceptance of this position.”
Greco’s appointment is the culmination of a six-month, national search, led by a 12-person Artistic Director Search Committee made up of Huntington board members, staff representatives, and community leaders, chaired by Huntington Trustees Betsy Epstein and George Yip, and working with consultants Tom Hall and Christine O’Connor of AlbertHall & Associates.
“We are thrilled to have played a role in bringing Loretta Greco to The Huntington and to Boston,” say Epstein and Yip. “Loretta is a natural leader and an inspiring artist with a strong commitment to lifting up artists, supporting staff, and advancing the cause of racial justice in the American theatre. She will make our theatre and our city a better place.”
Director of Production Bethany Ford and Artist-in-Residence Melinda Lopez served as staff representatives on the Artistic Director Search Committee. “I was honored to represent Huntington staff on the search committee, and I’m excited to partner with the Huntington’s first female Artistic Director in elevating the work of women and BIPOC theatre makers behind the scenes and on our stages,” says Ford. “Loretta Greco joins us at an inflection point in the institution’s history and she will undoubtedly inspire creative programming and new ideas, bring together our staff and artists, and help us center equity and diversity in our work.”
Greco will begin at The Huntington immediately on a consultant basis, then will relocate to Boston and join the company full time on July 1, 2022. The Huntington’s three prior artistic leaders were Peter Altman (1982 – 2000), Nicholas Martin (2000 – 2008), and Peter DuBois (2008 – 2020).
ABOUT LORETTA GRECO
Loretta Greco is an artistic director, producer, and director with over two decades of artistic leadership experience. Her passion is championing groundbreaking artists whose work asks robust questions about our humanity, and fostering a nurturing, rigorous artistic home for extraordinary theatremakers and audiences.
Her freelance directing career spans the spectrum from reimagined classics to musicals and world premieres. Greco’s impact on the field is significant. 20 of the 26 world premieres she developed and produced have gone on to have to subsequent productions in New York and throughout the country (in 24 states) and internationally. Highlights include: the world premieres of Oedipus el Rey by Luis Alfaro; Hir by Taylor Mac; Don’t Eat the Mangos by Ricardo Perez Gonzalez; American Hwangap by Lloyd Suh; and the chamber opera Arlington by Victor Lodato and Polly Pen. Large scale productions include the Magic Theatre’s rolling world premiere of Taylor Mac’s five-hour allegory, The Lily’s Revenge with 36 performers and 6 women directors; the repertory of Mfoniso Udofia’s Sojourners and runboyrun; Jessica Hagedorn’s Dogeaters; and Barbara Hammond’s The Eva Trilogy among others. During her tenure at the Magic Theatre, playwrights have been recognized as Pulitzer finalists, Tony Award nominees, Herb Alpert honorees, Academy Award winners, and MacArthur “Genius” Award recipients.
Throughout her career, Greco has worked diligently to seek and create exciting community partnerships. Her community collaborations at the Magic included Taylor Mac’s A 24-Decade History of Popular Music in association with The Curran Theatre, Pomegranate Arts, and Stanford Live; the repertory of Tarell Alvin McCraney’s Brother/Sister Plays with ACT and Marin Theatre Company, and the Sheparding America celebration with ACT, Campo Santo, Crowded Fire, and Word for Word, among others. A passionate community builder, Greco spearheaded Magic’s Tenderloin Arts and Community programs for youth and adults and the Magic Laney College collaboration.
Greco has directed both premieres and reimagined classics in New York, San Francisco, and throughout the country. She directed Calderon’s Life is a Dream for Cal Shakes, and critically acclaimed American revivals such as Fool for Love by Sam Shepard for Magic and Speed the Plow by David Mamet for American Conservatory Theater. She also developed and directed the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Lackawanna Blues for The Public Theater and directed the national tour of Emily Mann’s Having Our Say and its international premiere at the historic Market Theatre in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In addition to her long tenure as Magic Theatre’s Artistic Director, she has served as Producing Artistic Director of New York’s WP Theater (formerly known as the Women’s Project) where she championed and produced a who’s who of theatre women including, Liesl Tommy, Annie Dorsen, Anne Kaufman, Lisa D’Amour, Katie Pearl, Leigh Silverman, and Diane Paulus, among many others. As Associate Director and staff producer of the McCarter Theatre Center, Greco originated their Second Stage-On-Stage festival, commissioning and producing plays from dozens of writers, including Nilo Cruz, Adrienne Kennedy, and Doug Wright, while line producing mainstage premieres such as Anna Deveare Smith’s Twilight, Athol Fugard’s Valley Song, Stephen Wadsworth’s The Triumph of Love, and Mann’s Having Our Say which then moved to Broadway.
Greco has taught at UCSD and at Brown University. She has served on TCG/Fox, ART/ New York, Pew Center for Arts, Drama League, and Herb Alpert Foundation panels. She is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect and the recipient of Bay Area Critic’s Association Awards, Drama League fellowships, the Princess Grace Award, a Sundance/Luma Director’s fellowship, the 2018 Zelda Fichandler Award, the 2019 Gene Price Award, an honorary Acting Degree from American Conservatory Theatre, and the 2020 Sam Shepard Legacy Award. She is the proud mother of Sophia Greco Brill.