Emily Mann to Retire Following the 2019-2020 Season

A letter from Reginald M. Browne, Interim Board President

Dear Friends:

Thank you, as always, for being an important part of McCarter as we continue to advance our mission of creating world-class theater and presenting the finest artists for the engagement, education, and entertainment of our community.

At the dawn of this new year, I want to share with you the news that Emily Mann, the award-winning playwright and director who has served as our Artistic Director and Resident Playwright since 1990, will retire from the position following the upcoming 2019-2020 season.

As many of you know first-hand, Emily ushered in an exceptionally robust artistic period that catapulted McCarter to the world stage. Over the course of her 30-year tenure—during which McCarter won the prestigious Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre—she has overseen more than 160 productions, including more than 40 world premieres.

But numbers don’t even begin to tell the story.

By all accounts, Emily has been a major force in shaping not only McCarter, but the course of American theater at large, as a trailblazing advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusiveness. Her passion for nurturing countless emerging and established artists has encouraged their creative expression, challenged convention, and enriched our collective community. Her imprint as a fierce champion of works by women and people of color and as an agent of change is as inspiring as it is indelible.

In announcing her farewell, Emily graciously reflected:

“Three decades ago, McCarter took the brave and bold step of casting a young female artist as its artistic director, long before women writers and directors were widely embraced in American theater. After what has been an extraordinary journey, it is time to pass the torch to the next generation of artistic directors, many of whom I have been privileged to mentor, so that they may impart their own unique signatures at McCarter as I enter a new personal and professional chapter of writing and directing opportunities.”

As we both turn to our next acts, it is an honor to thank Emily for her lifetime of service to McCarter and salute her for the numerous achievements that have earned our theater and community worldwide recognition. To pay homage to her monumental tenure here, Emily’s final season, which we will announce in March, will be “Signature Emily” – a capstone series of plays celebrating diverse and emerging artists. We hope you will join us to enjoy what will be a truly memorable theatrical tour de force.

Looking ahead, McCarter’s Board of Trustees over the next few months will be formalizing a process for identifying the theater’s next Artistic Director, committed to building on Emily's storied legacy to become an even more vibrant home for artists, audiences, students, trustees, and staff.

Thank you again for your support and patronage. We look forward to celebrating Emily’s amazing body of work with you.


Reginald M. Browne
Interim President
McCarter Board of Trustees


Read the full press release here.
Read Emily Mann’s full bio here.
Read Reginald M. Browne’s full bio here.