James Shearwood of Kent, New York, has been named the first executive director of The Schoolhouse Theater.
In announcing the appointment, Joyce Picone of Carmel, a member of The Schoolhouse Theater board, said, "We are so fortunate to have found a new leader for The Schoolhouse who offers us a lifetime of rich theater experience, as well as clear dedication to the whole concept of comm unity arts. We look forward to helping James move us forward, building on the solid reputation for excellence and service to the community that The Schoolhouse has earned."
Schoolhouse Artistic Director Pamela Moller Kareman thanked Ms. Picone for bringing Shearwood to the attention of the search committee. "I can't imagine anyone better qualified than James Shearwood to help The Schoolhouse reach its' full potential as a thriving center for great theater and creative arts," said Kareman. "Having completed the recent renovation of the building, we are ready to expand our offerings in many new directions."
Shearwood has served most recently as Artistic and Administrative Director of Arts on the Lake in Kent Lakes, NY, where he inaugurated the modern vaudeville of Open Mouth, recreated the lives of Kent residents in Kent Stories and, from time to time, created and performed The Further Adventures of Ralph.
Prior to that post, he was a member of the Theatre Faculty of Sa rah Lawrence College for 18 years. Previously he was the Director of the Theatre Program at Manhattanville College and on the faculty of the New School for Social Research in NYC. He was a founding Artist Coordinator of the ground-breaking Project CREATE in Connecticut and developed arts-in-education workshops for the Department of Education in Puerto Rico.
As a writer, he has had plays produced at the Ensemble Studio Theatre in NYC, the Yale Cabaret in New Haven, The American Center in Paris and at Tulane University, Amherst College, Smith College and Howard University. He has created original material for multiple productions at Sarah Lawrence and Manhattanville Colleges.
As an actor, he worked in NYC at the New Federal Theatre, Amas Rep, Women's Interart, NY Stageworks, Ensemble Studio Theatre and Playwrights Horizons. He was a member of the improvisational NY Team for Theatresports for two years and studied with Uta Hagen, Herbert Berghof, William Hickey and Wynn Handman.
As a Theatre Director, he has mounted original productions at the Fleetwood Stage in New Rochelle and a wide range of classics at Sarah Lawrence and Manhattanville Colleges.
He received a B.A. from Amherst College; was an MCA Fellow at Smith College, where he received an M.A., and took further study at the University of Paris.
Over the years, The Schoolhouse Theater has become the go-to theater in Westchester, where lovers of great drama and comedy can enjoy productions of a quality they thought they could find only in New York City. A regional Equity theater, The Schoolhouse is dedicated to presenting professional theatrical performances by award-winning playwrights and to the support and promotion of other art forms.The Schoolhouse Theater will welcome Mr. Shearwood at a reception before the opening performance of Conor McPherson's The Seafarer on Thursday, March 13. To order theater tickets or learn more about upcoming productions and programs at The Schoolhouse, go to www.schoolhousetheater.org.