The board of directors of The Rose Theater is pleased to announce the appointment of Matthew Gutschick as Artistic Director of the Omaha Theater Company. Gutschick will take the reigns at the theater on September 10th replacing James Larson, who retired on May 31st after guiding the theater for 28 years.
“With the retirement of James Larson, who was responsible for leading the Omaha Theater Company to national recognition in theater for youths and families, the Board felt it was critical to conduct a national search to identify a successor who could best carry on the tradition,” said Curt Witzenburg, President of The Rose Theater Board of Directors. “Having interviewed an exceptional field of candidates, the selection committee feels that Matt not only has the ability to continue advancing the educational mission, but will also bring a renewed sense of passion and energy to The Rose.”
Gutschick received an MFA in Theater Management from the Yale School of Drama in 2012. While a student at Yale, Gutschick served as the Managing Director of the Yale Cabaret, Associate Producer of the Yale Institute for Music Theater Contest, and Associate Managing Director of the Yale Repertory Theater. He is also a graduate of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and Wake Forest University. He was awarded the George C. White Award for demonstrated appreciation of the arts throughout the world, curiosity about cultural heritage, and respect for creative production management.
“With a focus on theater for young audiences, Matt embraces the philosophy of speaking to the youth at eye level versus speaking down to them,” added Witzenburg. “He brings a desire for artistic collaboration and global thinking which will challenge the staff in new ways while delivering engaging and innovative works.”
Prior to his appointment at the Omaha Theater Company, Gutschick served a Fellowship under the tutelage of Peter Brosius of the Tony-award winning Children’s Theater Company Artistic Director in Minneapolis. Gutschick has also worked in theater for young people as Director of Intermediate Repertory Theater at the renowned Interlochen Center for the Arts in Michigan; Artistic Director of the Children’s Theater of Winston-Salem; and as Education Director at Twin City Stage in Winston-Salem, NC. He is also a co-founder of Magicmouth Theater in Chicago.
“I am incredibly humbled by the opportunity to serve The Rose, which embodies so many of the values other arts organizations around the world aspire to uphold: imagination, accessibility, and education,” said Gutschick. “I look forward to making extraordinary theater in new and ever-more exciting ways.”
As a director, The New Yorker highlighted his production of Wuthering Heights: A Romantic Musical, in its Goings On About Town column and theatrescene.net called the show, “boldly envisioned … exquisitely conceived”. As a playwright, Gutschick has had his works for both family and adult audiences produced in New York City, Chicago, and Winston-Salem. His play Rubber Doves was named winner of the New Horizons Playwriting Competition and toured internationally. He co-authored Awakening, a full-length play with magic which toured nationally by the MagicMouth Theatre and received both the Chambers Award and a Kauffman Foundation Fellowship.