Andrew Borba to Succeed Vivienne Benesch as Artistic Director of Chautauqua Theater Company Following 2016 Summer Season

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The pair will serve as co-artistic directors of the company for 2016.

Andrew Borba, Vivienne Benesch

Andrew Borba, Vivienne Benesch

As artistic leaders, Vivienne and Andrew have impacted not only CTC, but also the entire creative capacity of Chautuauqua as a community that embraces and nurtures both art and artists.

Chautauqua Institution has announced that following the completion of its 2016 season, Andrew Borba will succeed Vivienne Benesch as artistic director of Chautauqua Theater Company. Benesch and Borba will be co-artistic directors for the 2016 season. Benesch was recently named producing artistic director of PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

"Chautauqua is fortunate to have two artistic leaders as accomplished, dedicated and syncopated as Andrew and Vivienne," said Deborah Sunya Moore, vice president and director of programming at Chautauqua Institution. "We are thrilled for Andrew to grow his leadership role at CTC and grateful to Vivienne for her guidance during this transition. We look forward to continuing a close relationship with her for seasons to come. As artistic leaders, Vivienne and Andrew have impacted not only CTC, but also the entire creative capacity of Chautuauqua as a community that embraces and nurtures both art and artists."

“Andrew has been an invaluable colleague to me at CTC for the last 11 seasons,” Benesch said. "As a director, an actor, a faculty member and as associate artistic director, Andrew's contributions have had a major role in the success that CTC has enjoyed and the deepening of our mission and vision. I can't wait to officially work side by side with him in 2016 and then see the great things he'll continue to accomplish in the years ahead.”

A veteran actor in film, on television and on stage, Borba has spent six seasons as CTC's associate artistic director. Along with his performances in Our Town, Arcadia and All My Sons, he is known at Chautauqua for directing The Comedy of Errors, The Philadelphia Story, Macbeth, Twelfth Night, Ellis Island, and the 2014 inter-arts project Go West!

“I stand squarely on the shoulders of Vivienne’s outstanding stewardship and am thrilled to carry forward the mantle of excellence, creativity, talent and passion that she has fostered within this company and on our stages,” Borba said. “During this transition, Vivienne, Sarah Clare Corporandy, our outstanding managing director, and I intend to do what you’ve come to expect: to bring the Chautauqua community some of the best regional theater in the country, with the rising talents of tomorrow.

“Chautauqua is growing as a national destination for the arts and I’m very excited about that. I look forward to working closely with Deborah and the other arts programs at Chautauqua, as well as extending CTC’s reach by sending our new plays and young actors out into other theaters around the country.”

Borba appeared recently in the films "Taken 3," "Straight Outta Compton" and "Interstellar," and on television in guest appearances or recurring roles on a number of popular shows, including "Criminal Minds" and “Modern Family.” On stage, he has performed at South Coast Repertory, Pasadena Playhouse, The Globe Theatre, Berkeley Rep, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, The Theater @ Boston Court, Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis, Dallas Theater Center, Portland Stage Company, Long Wharf, and many others. He currently serves as part-time faculty at the USC School of Dramatic Arts, UCLA and University of California, Irvine.

Benesch, who began at Chautauqua in 1989 as a member of the theater conservatory, will step down following the 2016 CTC season, her 12th as artistic director and 21st as a member of the company. During her tenure, the company has emerged as one of the best professional summer theater companies in the United States and, through a renowned conservatory program, as a top destination for rising theatrical talent.

“I am beyond fortunate to have called Chautauqua my artistic home for over 20 years,” Benesch said. “Under the inspired leadership of Tom Becker, Marty Merkley and now Deborah Sunya Moore, and in the midst of the most supportive community imaginable, I have been buoyed not only to guide the theater company’s significant growth, but to grow immeasurably as an artist myself. What I’m perhaps most proud of, however, is the remarkable network of emerging theater artists that have come to identify as Chautauquans — and to equate that with excellence. I am forever grateful and look forward to continuing to serve CTC and Chautauqua in a meaningful capacity for years ahead.”

Benesch is a director, OBIE Award-winning actor, producer and teacher. As a champion of new work at Chautauqua, she has directed and or produced world premieres of Molly Smith Metzler’s The May Queen, Kate Fodor’s Fifty Ways and Zayd Dohrn’s The Profane (in 2016) and worked in development on over 20 new plays, including Michael Golamco’s Build, Kate Fodor’s Rx, Zayd Dohrn’s Sick, Anna Ziegler’s An Incident and Jonathan Walker’s New Burlington. She has directed over 20 productions at Chautauqua and been a leading force in producing both original and existing interdisciplinary programming.

Benesch has taught and directed at the Juilliard School for the last eight years and been a visiting faculty member for NYU’s Graduate Acting Program (her alma mater) and Brown University/Trinity Rep’s MFA program. She will assume the producing artistic directorship of PlayMakers Repertory Company in January.

CTC's 2016 season will feature three mainstage productions, including Sarah Ruhl's In the Next Room, the premiere of Chautauqua Play Commission recipient Zayd Dohrn’s The Profane, directed by Benesch, and Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, directed by Borba. Two Signature Staged Readings of yet to be chosen new plays and a host of other programming will round out the summer offerings.

Dedicated to the next generation of theater artists, the development of new work, first-rate productions of modern and contemporary classics, and fresh insight into Shakespeare’s canon, CTC produces the best of a year-round regional theater within an eight week summer season as the resident theater of the Chautauqua Institution. Chautauqua Theater Company is where the finest theater artists of tomorrow bridge the gap between their training and the professional world.

The pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities. Over the course of nine weeks, more than 100,000 people visit Chautauqua and participate in programs, classes and community events for all ages — all within the beautiful setting of a historic lakeside village. Smithsonian magazine named Chautauqua as the No. 1 “Best Small Town to Visit in 2014” in the cover story of its April 2014 issue.

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