1967 – 1985
Director Christopher Martin founded CSC Repertory in 1967 in a 100-seat theatre at Rutgers Presbyterian Church on West 73rd Street. Following short stints in small spaces, first on Bleecker Street and then on West Third Street, Classic Stage Company grew to the point where it needed a permanent home. In 1974, the theatre moved to its present premises on 13th Street. Mr. Martin led the organization until 1985, building an ongoing artistic company that performed the great plays of the world’s classical repertoire in a rotating schedule.
HEDDA GABLER (Henrik Ibsen)
THE CUCHULAIN PLAYS (W.B. Yeats)
DANTON’S DEATH (Georg Büchner)
Pictured: HAMLET (William Shakespeare). Photo: Gerry Goodstein.
1985 – 1987
CSC went through a period of transition, first under Artistic Director Craig Kinzer and then Producing Director Carol Ostrow.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (William Shakespeare)
THE MAIDS (Jean Genet)
THE SKIN OF OUR TEETH (Thornton Wilder)
BRAND (Henrik Ibsen)
Pictured: Sigourney Weaver in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE (William Shakespeare).
1987 – 1992
Carey Perloff became Artistic Director in 1987. Her five seasons brought Classic Stage Company a new level of recognition—not only in the Off-Broadway community, but nationwide as well. Ms. Perloff encouraged Classic Stage Company to regard the great plays of the 20th Century as legitimate “classics,” and did important work on plays by Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Bertolt Brecht, in addition to programming the mainstays of the classical canon.
THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (Harold Pinter)
MOUNTAIN LANGUAGE (Harold Pinter)
THE RESISTIBLE RISE OF ARTURO UI (Bertolt Brecht)
HAPPY DAYS (Samuel Beckett)
Pictured: Pamela Reed in ELEKTRA (Ezra Pound).
1992 – 1998
David Esbjornson succeeded Ms. Perloff as Artistic Director in 1992. During his tenure, CSC continued to explore the classics of the 20th Century, but also produced a number of new plays based on classic material. Major American playwrights, including Pulitzer Prize winners Tony Kushner and Paula Vogel, created these works.
ENDGAME (Samuel Beckett)
ENTERTAINING MR. SLOANE (Joe Orton)
TRIUMPH OF LOVE (Pierre de Marivaux)
Pictured: Cynthia Nixon in THE ILLUSION (Pierre Corneille, adapted by Tony Kushner). Photo: T. Charles Erickson
1998 – 2003
In 1998, Barry Edelstein became Artistic Director. In addition to continuing the theatre’s tradition of producing major world classics and new adaptations of lesser-known works, Mr. Edelstein evolved the repertory to include forms such as dance and music theatre.
WAITING FOR GODOT (Samuel Beckett)
THE UNDERPANTS (Steve Martin)
IN THE PENAL COLONY (Philip Glass)
THE MISANTHROPE (Molière)
Pictured: Bill Irwin in TEXTS FOR NOTHING (Samuel Beckett). Photo: Dixie Sheridan
2003 – Present
Brian Kulick followed Mr. Edelstein as Artistic Director in 2003 and has returned the theatre to its roots, making Shakespeare a programmatic cornerstone as well as initiating CSC’s critically-acclaimed Chekhov Cycle, which has mounted all five of Chekhov’s major plays. He has also brought new work to CSC with such important writers as David Ives, whose VENUS IN FUR transferred to Broadway and garnered a 2011 Tony Award Nomination for Best Play. He has expanded the theatre’s programming by building The Young Company, which brings Shakespeare to young, underserved audiences in all five boroughs of New York City. This nationally recognized program has, since its inception, reached over 12,000 students.
VENUS IN FUR (David Ives)
THE TEMPEST (William Shakespeare)
AN ORESTEIA (Anne Carson)
GALILEO (Bertolt Brecht)
Pictured: Peter Sarsgaard and Maggie Gyllenhaal in THREE SISTERS
(part of the acclaimed Chekhov Cycle). Photo: Joan Marcus