Search This Site

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

New Artistic Director & A New Season at Astoria Performing Arts Center

The Astoria Performing Arts Center (APAC) is pleased to announce the appointment of Tom Wojtunik as Artistic Director. Wojtunik, who last year directed Proof for APAC, brings a wealth of talent and experience plus an influx of humor, passion for storytelling, generosity and inspiration to the new season line-up.

The executive director, Taryn Drongowski, is delighted about the new appointment: “Tom is bringing an exciting vision to APAC” she states. “With his strong leadership, APAC will have an even greater commitment to supporting writers and incubating new works of theatre. I am looking forward to seeing what his vision will do for APAC over time and the impact that it could have on theater in the borough of Queens and beyond.”

Wojtunik, who has lived in Astoria for the past five years, remarks: “I am committed to continuing the tradition of high quality theatre and entertainment that APAC audiences have come to expect. I am floored by how supportive the Astoria community is to APAC–it’s clear they believe a local professional theatre is vital. Programming a season is a great responsibility and I look forward to beginning this dialogue with APAC audiences–a dialogue that takes shape through the work we put on our stages. I am eager to produce relevant plays and musicals that resonate with our audience, but new work will now be a major facet of future programming as well.”

The 2008-2009 season will include the inclusion of new work to APAC’s regular programming. Wojtunik will premiere The 15/20s: Staged Readings of New Works, introducing APAC audiences to the development process and paving the way for new work in the regular mainstage programming. The 15/20s will be produced under the AEA Staged Reading Guidelines, which allows 15 hours of combined rehearsal and performance time for actors (20 hours for musicals), hence the name The 15/20s.

The 15/20s first annual series begins in October, presenting four new plays commencing with Woyzeck: Homecoming by Eric Henry Sanders, directed by Wojtunik, on Wednesday, October 8th. The series will also include End of Land by Kathleen Warnock, The Patient River by Kevin Brofsky, and Sans Merci by Johnna Adams, which was awarded the 2008-09 Reva Shiner Award and was a 2006 finalist for the Princess Grace Award.

APAC’s seventh season will kick-off in February with Ragtime, the epic musical by the award-winning composer/lyricist team Stephen Flaherty and Lynn Ahrens and book writer Terrence McNally. Wojtunik, who will direct, says, ” The spirit of unfailing optimism that permeates the characters in this story, even in the midst of a country faced with enormous changes, feels more vital today than it did when it first opened on Broadway ten years ago.” In May APAC will produce Lillian Hellman’s controversial masterpiece The Children’s Hour, directed by Jessi D. Hill, recipient of the 2008/09 Denham Fellowship from the Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation.

No comments: