Joshua Borenstein named Long Wharf Theatre’s managing director

Long Wharf Theatre’s Board of Trustees has named Joshua Borenstein as managing director.

Borenstein’s appointment was confirmed by unanimous vote at a special session of the Board of Trustees, held last Tuesday. Albert Hall & Associates, an arts consulting firm, conducted the national search.

“Josh was simply the best candidate. Because of our national search, his skills and qualification for the position became more and more clear to us on the Board of Trustees,” said Charles Kingsley, board chair. “He’s been serving as the interim managing director for the past six months and he’s done a wonderful job. Josh has the total confidence of the Board, the staff and Gordon.”

“This is a historic day for Long Wharf Theatre,” said Gordon Edelstein, artistic director. “In Josh Borenstein, the Board of Trustees has found someone who combines wisdom, strength, practical theatrical knowhow with strategic savvy. Josh is an immensely personable and generous spirited man, but one who is not afraid to make tough and difficult decisions. On a personal level, Josh and I have been friends for years and have built an easy working rapport. This is indeed a happy day for me and a great day for this great theatre.”

Len Suzio, chair of the Board’s search committee, said there were certain traits they were seeking for the position, vacant since March. They were looking for a candidate who could engage and inspire many different constituencies, including board and staff, lead the theatre into new levels of fiscal stability, and a person who has fresh, new ideas.  “We were looking for the right fit and Josh really emerged as the best candidate for the job. I think he brings a lot of enthusiasm, as well as impeccable credentials and contacts to this job. We expect he’ll lead Long Wharf Theatre successfully for a very long time,” Suzio said.

This will be Borenstein’s second stint at Long Wharf Theatre, serving in various capacities from 2003 to 2007, most recently as its Associate Managing Director.  In this capacity, he was responsible for the day-to-day operations of the organization, including finance, human resources, contract negotiations, labor relations, and facilities.  Josh had previously served as interim managing director in 2006.

“I am honored and excited to be returning to Long Wharf,” said Borenstein.  “The work is outstanding, and it is an important cultural asset to both the region, as well as the national theatre community.  I am greatly looking forward to working with the Board, Gordon, and the staff on moving the organization forward in this rapidly changing time.”

Borenstein was recently a Project Manager with AMS in Fairfield, Connecticut.  His AMS experience includes over 50 projects in strategic planning, cultural facility development, and market analysis.  Recently, Borenstein was the lead researcher for Culture Track 2011, a comprehensive national study on arts participation that was released earlier this month.  He also led an in-depth analysis of the Columbus, Ohio arts sector that offered recommendations to make it more sustainable.  His clients have included producing arts organizations, performing arts centers, local and state arts agencies, national service organizations, and children’s museums.
Prior to his tenure at Long Wharf Theatre, Josh was at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston through Theatre Communication Group’s “New Generations:  Mentoring the Leaders of Tomorrow” program.  In this role, he worked on a variety of strategic planning projects, including assisting with the development of the Huntington’s Calderwood Pavilion.  Borenstein also served in various roles at Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven and at Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island.  While at Trinity Rep, Borenstein began a partnership between the theatre and a children’s psychiatric hospital.
Josh has been a guest lecturer at Yale University and at Boston University.  He also served as Board President and as Treasurer of the Summer Cabaret at Yale as well as a community grant reviewer for the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven.
Josh earned a Master of Fine Arts in theatre management from the Yale School of Drama and a Bachelor of Arts with Honors in classical civilization from Wesleyan University.  He is married to Katherine Hsu Hagmann, an attorney at Bershtein Volpe & McKeon, and his family resides in North Haven.

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