GableStage announced recently that Bari Newport will become its producing artistic director, succeeding Joe Adler, who passed away in April 2020 after 20 seasons leading the organization.
“Bari has the rare combination of artistic ability and business skills to run a theater and lead our growth efforts,” the GableStage Board said in a statement. “We wanted someone who would address the diversity of Miami, have their own voice and creative style, and be a leader who engages the community, board, company, staff and volunteers. Bari will lead us into the future.”
Since 2012, Newport had led the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, ME, as producing artistic director. Previously, she was artistic associate at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, artistic associate/literary manager at the Pasadena Playhouse, associate producer at Horizon Theatre and associate director of Florida Repertory Theatre.
“I can’t even begin to share my excitement about this tremendous opportunity and responsibility,” Newport said. “I am inspired by the strong mission at GableStage and love the diverse and art-loving community Miami brings.
“While it will certainly be a challenge taking over for someone as beloved and talented as Joe, the next chapter at GableStage is thrilling and it is a tremendous honor to lead such a vital and visionary organization,” she added.
Newport has been responsible for the creation and stabilization of a wide range of artistic initiatives in a number of theaters, including extensive work in new play development, education and community engagement.
Her work as a director and actor has been seen at Horizon Theatre Company, Greenbriar Valley Theatre, American Stage, Cumberland County Playhouse, Florida Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company and early on at the Westport County Playhouse and the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
“From the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta to the Pasadena Playhouse on the West Coast, to her leadership tenure at Penobscot in Maine, Bari has broad and varied experience and will bring her smart, committed, community focused leadership to GableStage. I’m excited for this important theater’s future under Bari’s expert guidance,” said Joseph Haj, artistic director of the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis, an FIU graduate, and a member of the search committee that recommended Bari to the board.
Bari’s directing credits at Penobscot Theatre Company include Gaslight, Ripcord, The Graduate, Ugly Lies the Bone, Escanaba in da Moonlight, Misery, Murder for Two, Duck Hunter Shoots Angel, Doctor Cerberus, August, Osage County, End Days, Our Town, The Woman in Black, The Sugar Bean Sisters, Annie and Becky’s New Car.
Newport holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, where her efforts yielded the creation of the Bill White Memorial Theatre Collection, the university’s first and only theatrical library. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. She was awarded the Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations: Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke Foundations.
Since 1998, GableStage has been producing quality theatrical productions that encompass themes and ideas relevant to the multicultural South Florida community at Coral Gables’ historic Biltmore Hotel. GableStage is the recipient of 64 Carbonell Awards.
For more information, please visit gablestage.org.