The J is pleased to announce that Edward Coffield has been named Artistic Director of the New Jewish Theatre. Coffield brings nearly three decades of experience to the J, including 16 years with New Jewish Theatre as Associate Artistic Director. During this time, he has directed more than 15 productions including My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding, Yentl, and Driving Miss Daisy (original 2005 NJT production). Many of the productions have been Award-winning – The Immigrant, From Door to Door, Jacob and Jack and many others.
“We are beyond thrilled that Edward will be leading New Jewish Theatre,” said Zelda Sparks, Director of the J’s Wilma and Roswell Thelma Messing, Jr. Cultural Arts Department. “He’s extremely talented and knows our theatre so well. I can think of no better person to take the reins.” Current Artistic Director, Kathleen Sitzer will retire as Artistic Director in July after 22 years.
At the most recent St. Louis Theater Circle Awards, Coffield was nominated for Outstanding Director of a comedy and is a three-time nominee for The Kevin Kline Award for Outstanding Direction.
Coffield has also served as Production Manager at the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis for the past 28 years. “I congratulate New Jewish Theatre on its selection of Edward. He understands how the theatre business works. He will connect well with artists, technicians, staff and contributors. More than that, he will be able to continue to perpetuate NJT as an important contributor to the cultural life of our region,” said Steven Woolf, Artistic Director of the Repertory Theatre of Saint Louis.
Coffield says, “I am thrilled and excited to be the next Artistic Director of The New Jewish Theatre. NJT has long been my artistic home and I am so proud of the organization that Kathleen Sitzer has allowed the theatre to become. I look forward to continue the growth and success of NJT.”
Kathleen Sitzer added, “I couldn’t be more delighted. Edward has been an integral part of our Theatre for over 15 years. He is a well-known and beloved member of the St. Louis theatre community. There is probably not a single theatre that he hasn’t in some way touched. Mazel Tov to Edward and the J – I can’t wait to see what he does.”
Coffield assumes his new role at the J in July. The 2018-19 season opener, Raging Skillet, premieres Wednesday, October 3. Season and ticket information can be found at newjewishtheatre.org