Lear deBessonet Named Artistic Director Of New York City Center's Encores!

The 4th Annual Lilly Awards

Congratulations are in order for Lear deBessonet as she was named the next Artistic Director of Encores!, New York City Center’s beloved musical theater program.

deBessonet is the current Resident Director of Encores! and will continue in that role until she begins her new position for the 2021 Encores! season. DeBessonet will be the first new artistic director to lead the series since Jack Viertel was appointed in 2000.

Lear deBessonet said in the press release, “I have a deep respect for the mission of Encores! and am personally passionate about making work that is vibrant and accessible to a new generation of audience members. There’s an enormously rich history here, andI'm particularly excited by the promise and meaning of City Center as a center—a place for all New Yorkers to come together around the arts. I look forward to advancing the tradition of American musical theater at this historic theater.”

Current Artistic Director Jack Viertel said, “The moment I saw Lear’s work as a director I knew I wanted to collaborate with her. Her expression of wit, joy, brains, taste, warmth, and inclusiveness was captivating. Her relationship with City Center began in 2014 and set in motion a series of wonderful, like-minded conversations, and eagerly hatched plans. When I decided it was time for me to hand the baton to the next generation of artists, Lear’s ability to inspire and excite artists and audiences made her the ideal candidate.” 

Previously announced, the 2020 Encores! season features productions of Mack & Mabel, Love Life, and Throughly Modern Millie. For full casting of these productions can be found here.

Photo: Getty