New Jersey Stage

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


(RED BANK, NJ) - — Todd Herman, President of the Two River Theater Company Board of Trustees, announces the appointment of Michael Hurst as the theater's new Managing Director. Hurst was selected following a national search conducted by Albert Hall & Associates, and was the unanimous choice of the theater's board.

Hurst was affiliated with The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival for 16 years, working in a variety of capacities including six years as Managing Director and four years as General Manger. He began his career at The Public in 1990 as a part-time associate in the theater's Box Office. As Managing Director, Hurst was responsible for the management and budgeting of all productions at The Public Theater and the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, and was part of the team responsible for the theater's annual operating budget of up to $16 million. During his tenure, he was part of strategic planning for the theater's operations, including its artistic leadership transition and the opening of Joe's Pub, and he was the chief negotiator for all productions, overseeing numerous transfers to Broadway.

"We are excited to have Michael join Two River Theater," says Herman, "especially because he has a long history of working with our Artistic Director John Dias at The Public Theater. They were senior leaders there together for 12 seasons—and we are delighted that they will be partners here, as Two River continues to grow. It's a testament to our theater that we attracted someone of Michael's stature in the national theater community. His expertise in executive management, organizational oversight, and financial stewardship will be great assets to our work."

Most recently, Hurst served as Chief Operating Officer of the Film Society of Lincoln Center, where he oversaw the construction of a new three-theater, $40-million facility, as well as changes to the Society's infrastructure in support of this expansion. His work in the commercial theater includes working as an Executive Producer for San Francisco-based producer Carole Shorenstein Hayes and opening her New York office, and consulting for 101 Productions, the Broadway and tour management company.

"Michael is one of the great managers in the American theater," says Dias. "He is an exceptional strategic thinker, a great institutional leader, and he has a deep commitment to supporting all of a theater's stakeholders, from its artists to its board and donors. As longtime colleagues at The Public, I know that we share a vision for producing the kind of exceptional work—both large-scale classics and ambitious new plays—that will make Two River a theater of national consequence."

A graduate of Rutgers University, Hurst intends to establish his primary residence in Asbury Park, after having lived in the community part time for more than four years. "I'm delighted to be working with John again, and to be joining the team at Two River Theater," he says. "The company is an important part of its community, and Red Bank brings a unique and sophisticated audience to the theater's work. It is poised now, with John at the helm and a passionate board and staff, to become a place for artists to develop new American plays and musicals that could have a life on the national stage. I am excited to work with John in leading the theatre to new growth and new adventures."

Hurst's appointment comes one week after Two River announced its 2011-12 Season, the first chosen by Dias. The theater's lineup will expand to eight plays on both stages of its two-theater complex, along with year-round developmental projects and arts-education programming.

"I am very pleased with the choice of Michael Hurst as our new Managing Director," says Two River Theater founder and Executive Producer Robert Rechnitz. "He is knowledgeable both about the field and New Jersey's own theater community, and his long history with John is a great plus. This theater was founded to be a place where people who have a hunger for culture can come together as a community. Over the past 16 years, our artists, audiences, and supporters have responded to that call, and I'm thrilled that we are now poised for the next leap forward in our work."