Gloucester Stage Names New Artistic Director, Rebecca Bradshaw


The Gloucester Stage Company this week announced it has a new artistic director, Rebecca Bradshaw. 

The move was announced after an extensive nationwide search process.  Rebecca takes over the role from the award-winning actress and director Paula Plum, who had been serving as the theater's interim artistic director since Robert Walsh stepped down following the 2021 season.

Bradshaw built a prolific career as a theatre director, producer, educator, casting director, and advocate.  She has directed full productions for Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company, Kitchen Theatre Company in New York, Lyric Stage, The Nora Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage, Greater Boston Stage Company, A.R.T. Institute, Emerson College, Bridge Rep of Boston, Central Square Theatre/MIT, Weston Drama Workshop, The Umbrella Center for the Arts, Fresh Ink Theatre, among others.

As artistic director, Rebecca will join GSC Managing Director Christopher Griffith in working with GSC's board and staff on the theater's goal to present socially relevant and intellectually stimulating works with powerful, uplifting, intriguing, and inspiring productions and performances.

“Rebecca has been appointed from an exceptionally strong array of candidates,” said Griffith.  “We are incredibly pleased to have Rebecca leading the artistic vision of Gloucester Stage, bringing the experience of an acclaimed directing, and producing career. I am especially grateful to have a business partner with such a strong commitment to the artistic community, championing diverse voices, and theater education.”

“I am thrilled to be back in a theatre community I hold so dear and to have the opportunity to become part of the thriving arts and culture scene in Gloucester. As a leader, I hope to build upon the foundation of GSC's past while continuing to challenge and inspire audiences to come,” said Bradshaw on her appointment. 

Bradshaw comes to Gloucester Stage after most recently acting as the producing artistic director at the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, NY.  Prior to that, for eight seasons, she served the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, handling line producing, casting, and developing new work.  She is a part of the Affiliated Faculty of Emerson College teaching directing and producing, and has taught casting seminars at Harvard University, Suffolk University, Boston University, Brandeis University, Lesley University, and Boston Conservatory.  

“I have worked with Rebecca Bradshaw as a director and colleague, and we could not have asked for a more savvy, capable, and artistically gifted person to lead Gloucester Stage.  She is a person of experience, talent, and integrity,” shared Paula Plum.  “Along with Rebecca’s appointment, I am also beyond thrilled with our selection of plays this year for Gloucester Stage which were chosen with JOY in mind — joy in the narrative, and joy in the process of storytelling. Each play has wit and humor that will entertain and provoke and inspire.”

Gloucester Stage's upcoming 44th season mixes diverse storytelling and representation of multiple voices designed to engage and entertain audiences. 

This year’s slate includes a classic comedic masterpiece, a contemporary thriller, and a compelling Pulitzer Prize finalist drama.  The season will open with a fresh take on Noël Coward's (Blithe Spirit) iconic 1930 comedy PRIVATE LIVES, Tony Award and Drama Desk Winner for Best Revival, from June 2 to 25. Directed by award-winning director, educator and actor, Diego Arciniegas, this uproarious timeless romantic comedy, set in a sophisticated world of cocktails, glamour, and sparkling repartee follows the ups, downs, and all-arounds of passion and betrayal.

Then, marking its regional premiere at GSC from July 7 to 23 will be Zora Howard’s (Premature) award-winning play STEW directed by Rosalind Bevan making her GSC directing debut.  The 2021 Pulitzer Prize finalist for drama is a hilarious and haunting drama that explores the unbreakable bond between three generations of Black women and reveals the power that loss holds over our lives when we refuse to share it with others.

GSC continues to ring in the season with THE DING DONGS, a dark comedy thriller by Cape Cod playwright Brenda Withers (The Office, Matt & Ben, Cyrano), from August 11 to 27.  Part lesson in how power evolves and how intimidation works, this absurdist comedy will be directed Rebecca Bradshaw and makes clear through wit and wordplay that strangers at the door, although they may seem perfectly normal, may turn out to be not only strange but dangerous.

In celebration of Gloucester's 400+ Celebration, Gloucester Stage has commissioned local playwright John Minigan (Sleepy Hollow, Queen of Sad Mischance, Noir Hamlet) to write TALL TALES FROM BLACKBURN TAVERN, based on folklore from Gloucester's 400-year history.  This is said to be a “world premiere of epic proportions,” and will be directed by award-winning director, educator, actor, and producer Bryn Boice.  The production will bring to life the infamous Gloucester Sea Serpent, the unheard-of Ghost Army of 1712 fought off by Ebenezer Babson, and the secrets from the Witches of Dogtown.  A devised piece employing projections and puppets to tell these larger-than-life fish tales, audiences of all ages will revel in the magic of this Cape Ann community's oral history.  Bringing the season to a close, the play runs from September 1 – 24.

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