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Second Stage Theater co-founder Carole Rothman to step down at end of 2023-2024 season

Rothman, who currently serves as artistic director, founded the organization in 1979.

Carole Rothman (Credit: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty)

Second Stage Theater co-founder and artistic director Carole Rothman will step down at the end of the 2023-2024 season. A reason for her departure has not been given. A replacement artistic director has not yet been named. Rothman currently leads Second Stage alongside interim executive director Lisa Lawer Post.

Rothman co-founded Second Stage in 1979 alongside Robyn Goodman with the intention of exposing people to new, emerging talent. Since then, she has led the organization’s transformation from company housed in a 16th-floor penthouse to its current homes at Broadway’s Helen Hayes Theatre and Off-Broadway’s Tony Kiser Theatre. Second Stage continues to be the only Broadway institution that exclusively produces living American playwrights.

In the 45 years since its founding, Second Stage has produced over 250 plays and musicals and has amassed more than 160 accolades, ranging from Tony Awards to Outer Critics Circle Awards to Drama Desk Awards and beyond. Under Rothman’s leadership, 11 of Second Stage’s Broadway productions were nominated for best play, best musical or best revival of a play or musical. The company’s “Dear Evan Hansen” won the Best Musical Tony and “Take Me Out” won Best Revival of a Play.

The current Second Stage Broadway season includes the world premiere of Paula Vogel’s “Mother Play” and  Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ “Appropriate.”

“For 45 years, I have had the great honor of working with countless incredible artists and playwrights, many at the beginning of their careers, who are now among the brightest stars in the industry,” Rothman said in a statement. “The shows we have brought to life have been award-winners, conversation-starters and groundbreakers.”

Rothman continued, “I’m forever grateful to all the people who have helped make Second Stage the creative springboard it is today. I’m so proud of what we have accomplished together.”

Correction: Carole Rothman is the co-founder of Second Stage Theater. A previous version of this article misstated Rothman as the founder. This has been corrected.