Alumnus Christopher Burney '94 Named Artistic Director of New York Stage and Film

February 8, 2019

Headshot of Christopher BurneyNew York Stage and Film, a non-profit dedicated to both emerging and established artists in the development of new works for theater and film, announced that Christopher Burney ’94 will become its next Artistic Director. Additionally, New York Stage and Film’s longtime Associate Artistic Director Liz Carlson has been promoted to the newly created position of Artistic Producer.


Burney was selected following an extensive process overseen by a search committee comprising New York Stage and Film Board members and others. Beginning this spring, he will work alongside current artistic director Johanna Pfaelzer, who said, “I am delighted to hand Chris the reins of this company that I love so much. His taste is excellent, he is enormously respected by artists, and his appetite for supporting a diverse range of new work is vast. I look forward to this new era for New York Stage and Film.” Pfaelzer will program and oversee New York Stage and Film & Vassar’s 2019 Powerhouse Season before departing at the end of the summer to assume her new position as Artistic Director of Berkeley Repertory Theatre.


Burney joins New York Stage and Film following a distinguished career at New York’s Second Stage Theater, where he currently serves as Artistic Producer. Burney shepherded more than one hundred productions to its three stages including such hits as Dear Evan Hansen; Next to NormalMetamorphosesBy The Way, Meet Vera StarkNotes From The Field; and the new musical Superhero, which is now in previews. Burney also was key in Second Stage’s move to the Hayes Theater, its new home on Broadway, which launched with the Broadway premiere of Lobby Hero.


“New York Stage and Film provides a unique home for emerging and established artists to create innovative, daring, and engaging stories for stage and screen. Through the Powerhouse Season, their commitment to film, and their other excellent work, they build vital communities for the creation of stories which impact the global arts community. I am thrilled to be joining this exceptional company and I look forward to supporting and expanding their legacy.” — Christopher Burney


Christopher Burney is a Tony-nominated Artistic Producer. He has worked with Second Stage since 1996. While at Second Stage he has worked with such writers as Anna Deavere Smith, Douglas Carter Beane, Gina Gionfriddo, Craig Lucas, Lanford Wilson, Theresa Rebeck, William Finn, Sam Shepard, David Ives, Kenneth Lonergan, Cheryl West, Martin Sherman, Jason Miller, Wendy Kesselman, August Wilson, Michael John LaChiusa, and Stephen Sondheim. He has worked with many leading directors such as Thomas Kail, Trip Cullman, Carolyn Cantor, Kenny Leon, Peter DuBois, Leigh Silverman, Mark Brokaw, Scott Ellis, Michael Greif, Garry Hynes, James Lapine, and Kathleen Marshall. As curator for 2ST Uptown, he has developed numerous emerging writers and directors including Rajiv Joseph, Bess Wohl, Erica Lipez, Marisa Wegrzyn, Roberto Aguirre-Sacasa, Brooke Berman, Adam Bock, Carly Mensch, Michael Golamco, Trip Cullman, and Joe Calarco, among others. He has consulted for various organizations including the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, the Kesselring Prize, the Kurt Weill Foundation, the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Asian American Arts Alliance, and the Jerome Fellowship. Previously, he worked from 1991-1997 at Lincoln Center Theater as the Assistant to the Director of Musical Theatre. He is a graduate of Brandeis University, B.A., and Columbia University.