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American Theatre: Justin Waldman Named Artistic Director of Two River Theater

by American Theatre Editors

RED BANK, N.J.: Justin Waldman will become the artistic director of Two River Theater as of Nov. 1. Waldman will succeed outgoing artistic director John Dias. Waldman’s responsibilities will include curating programming for the fall 2023 season. Managing director Michael Hurst is also stepping down from his role and Two River is continuing their search for his replacement.

“We are delighted to welcome Justin aboard,” said Two River Theater board president, Edward J. McKenna Jr. in a statement. “Justin is a consummate artist, a bold producer and a passionate leader of non-profit regional theatre. He deeply believes in the value of further developing Two River’s relationships with its community partners, and is also firmly committed to catching the baton John Dias has passed, expanding Two River’s impact beyond its stages in order to reach a larger, even more inclusive audience.”

Waldman most recently served as associate artistic director for 11 years at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego, Calif. where he transferred five of their shows to Broadway including, A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, Bright Star, and the upcoming Almost Famous. During his time with the Old Globe, he developed new musicals and plays, American and world classics, and holiday programming, while overseeing their Shakespeare festivals. Waldman also played an integral role in creating the Old Globe’s social justice roadmap.

Prior to this, Waldman served as an artistic associate at the Williamstown Theatre Festival where he led the literary department and new play development initiatives for three seasons. Six of the plays produced at the Williamstown Theatre Festival went on to be produced at Lincoln Center Theater, Roundabout Theatre Company, Playwrights Horizons, the Culture Project, and more. Likewise, Waldman has served as an artistic associate of Huntington Theatre Company, and the founder and producing artistic director of Next Stages. Waldman holds a degree from Tufts University.

“I am honored to carry on the legacy of Two River Theater as artistic director,” said Waldman in a statement.  “To shepherd the beautiful vision of Robert and Joan Rechnitz, alongside the incredible and dedicated board, staff, artists, and artisans, is an enormous privilege. Theater is a place of joy and wonder. I look forward to building on the great good work of John Dias and Michael Hurst and welcoming more people to partake in Two River’s excellent, accessible, and representative work and practice.  Two River has the unrivaled ability to highlight beauty, expand community, and bring us all together with considered intention. To be its steward for a time thrills me and is a responsibility I hold with the utmost care.”

Two River Theater is a professional, not-for-profit, regional theatre company in Red Bank, N.J. The theatre’s 2022-23 season sponsor is Hackensack Meridian Health/Riverview Medical Center. As of 2021, the theatre’s annual budget was $5.8 million.