Director, Playwright, and Producer Eric Rosen Named New Artistic Leader of Historic Cape Playhouse

(DENNIS, MA – August 29, 2023) The Board of Trustees of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts, Inc., announced today that Eric Rosen has been named artistic director of the historic Cape Playhouse in Dennis, Massachusetts.

A producer, director, and playwright, Mr. Rosen is known as a transformative leader and artistic innovator who creates acclaimed theater that engages audiences and embraces new communities.

“Eric is a brilliant artistic leader who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to The Cape Playhouse at just the right time,” said Bill Templeton, President of the Board of Trustees of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts. “Eric’s reverence for the history of our theater is so important as we approach our centennial celebration in 2027. We are grateful to have someone of his caliber joining our leadership team, and we know that his vision, energy, and passion for artistic excellence will be the driving forces as we build on the legacy of this storied institution.”

In accepting his third career appointment as an artistic director, Mr. Rosen said, “It is a tremendous honor to be asked to lead the Cape Playhouse into its centenary. For nearly 100 years, the Playhouse has been a vital and vibrant part of the Cape community and an important force in the shaping of American theater. I’m grateful for the chance to help move the theater forward artistically into an even brighter future, as I am sure the Playhouse’s best days are ahead.”

As leader of Kansas City Repertory Theater (KC Rep) from 2008 to 2018, Mr. Rosen guided the organization through a period of significant change, transforming a 44-year-old company into a respected incubator and engine for the development of stories that reached Broadway and stages worldwide. His programming included large-scale, pre-New York musicals, including the Tony-nominated A Christmas Story, The Public Theater’s Venice, and Lincoln Center’s Clay. During his decade-long tenure in Kansas City, Mr. Rosen transformed educational initiatives; built a diverse national network of talent, producing partners, and institutional collaborators; and shepherded a 50th anniversary campaign that led to expansion and modernization of the theater’s artistic facilities.

Before joining KC Rep, Mr. Rosen co-founded and led Chicago’s About Face Theater, a nationally recognized and community-focused LGBTQ arts organization that has provided innovative theater and educational programming for nearly three decades. While there, Mr. Rosen built and directed the creative strategy, designed programming slates that earned 24 Joseph Jefferson “Jeff” Awards, and developed and launched the pre-Broadway premier of I Am My Own Wife, which went on to win the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for Best Play.

Since 2019, Mr. Rosen has resided in New York City with his husband, actor Claybourne Elder, and their young son. As an independent artist, Mr. Rosen has developed projects for PBS and directed regionally, including the acclaimed production of Tick, Tick… Boom! at Bucks County Playhouse and the much lauded Arena Stage production of Indecent, for which he received the Helen Hayes Award for Best Director. He is at work on a new musical and two scripted podcast series for major distributors.

Mr. Rosen holds a Ph.D./M.A. in Performance Studies from Northwestern University and a B.A. in Communications/Performance Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has been recognized with Joseph Jefferson and Barrymore Awards, and his work at About Face Theater earned him awards from Human Rights Campaign and Equality Illinois, as well as an induction into Chicago’s LGBTQ Hall of Fame.

“When we set out on our journey to find the next artistic director of The Cape Playhouse, we identified a series of values, qualities, and professional traits that we felt were important in our next artistic leader,” said Mr. Templeton. “I am happy to say that in Eric we have found all of that and more.”

Mr. Rosen will begin his tenure at The Cape Playhouse on October 1st, and he will join Cape Playhouse Executive Director Nora Carey in jointly leading the organization.

The Cape Playhouse at The Cape Center for the Arts was founded in 1927 by Raymond Moore. His vision was to create a smart, sophisticated summer theatre with some of the world’s most noted stage and screen professionals. The realization of Moore’s dream has since been recognized by The New York Times, acknowledging the Playhouse as the “Place Where Broadway Goes to Summer.” Today, 96 years later, the theatre continues to feature world-class talent in shows produced specifically for The Cape Playhouse and is one of Cape Cod’s premier cultural assets. In addition to professional live-theatre experiences, the not-for-profit Playhouse is committed to youth programs and education. The historic theatre is situated on an expansive 22-acre campus along with the Cape Cod Museum of Art and the Cape Cinema..

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