Announcing M. Bevin O’Gara

New Repertory Theatre is delighted to announce the appointment of the Boston-based and award-winning theatre producer and director M. Bevin O’Gara as its Interim Executive Artistic Director effective April 5, 2021. O’Gara succeeds Michael J. Bobbitt, who began his new role as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council on February 1, 2021. O’Gara will serve in this position for approximately 9-12 months, until the search for a permanent Artistic Director has been completed and a new leader is appointed.

PC: Andre Bogard

“New Rep’s search committee is thrilled with the appointment of Bevin as our Interim Executive Artistic Director,” says Jo Trompet, Chair of New Rep’s Board of Directors. “Her familiarity and connections with the Boston theatre community, previous employment at New Rep and strong commitment to using theatre to advance equity and anti-racism made her a unanimous choice. We are confident that she will help to guide New Rep through the pandemic and our continued growth as an organization.”

“I feel strongly about New Rep’s mission to produce work that speaks to the vital conversations of the day,” says O’Gara. “I’d add that – in my vision of the theatre – it is just as important for these ideas to spark conversation and create dialogue. New Rep was where I cut my teeth as a young producer many years ago, and I am grateful for the skills I gained there. They made me what I am, as an artist and as a person. I look forward to paying that back now.”

About M. Bevin O’Gara

M. Bevin O’Gara spent three years as the Producing Artistic Director at the Kitchen Theatre Company in Ithaca, New York. Prior to that, she worked at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, Massachusetts most recently filling the role of Associate Producer. During her time there, Bevin oversaw dozens of productions, workshops and readings and played an active role in realizing new work by writers such as Craig Lucas, Kirsten Greenidge, Melinda Lopez, Stephen Karam, Lydia R. Diamond and A. Rey Pamatmat.  She worked to create the first Huntington programing for the Robert’s Studio Theatre with David Cromer’s production of Our Town, which won the Elliot Norton Award for Best Production in 2013.

As a director her credits include The Who and The What by Ayad Aktar, Milk Like Sugar by Kirsten Greenidge (Elliot Norton Award nomination for Best Production) and Becoming Cuba by Melinda Lopez at the Huntington Theatre Company; The Pink Unicorn, Small Mouth Sounds (Elliot Norton Award winner for Best Ensemble), The Bridges of Madison County, appropriate, A Future Perfect, Tribes (Elliot Norton and IRNE Awards for Best Production), and Clybourne Park with SpeakEasy Stage Company;  Brahman/i, Chronicles of Kalki, You for Me for You, Love Person and The Pain and the Itch with Company One Theatre; Phedre with Actors’ Shakespeare Project; Fast Company with the Lyric Stage Company, Marjorie Prime with the Nora Theatre Company, How Soft the Lining and Translations with Bad Habit Productions, Two Wives in India and Gary with Boston Playwrights’ Theatre, 2.5 Minute Ride with New Repertory Theatre and Melancholy Play with Holland Productions. Other companies include Denver Center for the Performing Arts, Cleveland Playhouse, Logan Stage, Williamstown Theatre Festival, The Actor’s Center of Australia and the Gaiety School in Dublin.

From 2006 to 2008 she worked as the Artistic Associate at the New Repertory Theatre where she started their second stage series. Bevin has been a Guest Artist or Lecture at several universities including Harvard University, Emerson College, Cornell University, Ithaca College, Brandeis University, Boston University, Tufts University, Boston College, Boston Conservatory and Northeastern University.

Bevin is the proud recipient of the Lois Roach Award for Outstanding Commitment to the Boston Theatre Community and was recognized by the Massachusetts State Association of the Deaf for her commitment to D/deaf and hard of hearing artists. She holds a BFA from Boston University.

FAQs

We sought a Boston-based leader familiar with the local cultural sector, comfortable with managing the Artistic and Executive-level responsibilities, who fits our company culture and is able to begin working with New Rep quickly. M. Bevin O’Gara meets all of these requirements and was the unanimous choice of the Search Committee and the Board. Providing our staff with leadership and support, especially as we navigate the challenges of COVID-19, was a top priority. The appointment of an Interim also affords us the necessary time to find the best permanent match for New Rep’s future success.

New Rep has not changed its commitment to equity and anti-racism efforts. The anti-racism plan collaboratively created by the company in 2020 is still in place. It will be followed and expanded by the Interim and Permanent Artistic Directors.

New Rep acknowledges the vital importance of BIPOC representation in leadership and is committed to considering a wide range of candidates with racial, ethnic, and gender diversity in filling the permanent position. In order to ensure we are attracting BIPOC candidates to fill this role we will cast a wide net by soliciting ideas from a range of individuals, sourcing advertising opportunities that reach a broad audience, addressing the need for representation head-on, and adhering to best practices to cultivate candidates who carry a diverse perspective and life experience. New Rep has also enlisted the experience of a BIPOC consultant who will work with the staff and board to ensure the goals of IDEAA remain central to our work.

Yes. New Rep approached numerous BIPOC theatre artists and leaders in the Boston community to ask if they were interested in being considered. Due to the temporary nature of this position, potential candidates and contacts who are currently employed full-time were not interested in being considered for an interim role.

Out of the seven members of New Rep’s Search Committee, 2 identify as BIPOC and 3 identify as female. The remaining members identify as white and male.

Now that we have an Interim in place, New Rep’s Board and Search Committee will turn their attention to the determination of a timeline and process for securing a permanent AD. We hope to have this position filled by March 2022.

At this time, COVID-19 will be the largest factor in determining which programs we produce, and when. Programming will be determined by factors such as cast size, budget capacities, and the number of patrons who already hold tickets to a certain production. We are continuing with the programming we had planned for this spring included #RomeoJuliet, Unveiled, and Listen to Sipu, the newly commissioned moving play centered around local Indigenous history.

At this time, our plans remain the same: we still plan to produce our previously scheduled 2020-2021 productions when able, although our ability to do so will largely depend on factors such as COVID-19 safety, cast size, budget capacities, and union stipulations. The New Rep staff will continue to be in touch with ticket-holders as more information becomes available. Ticket exchanges, credits, and the ability to convert your purchase into a donation will continue to be available to our patrons.