Festival 56 and its Board of Directors have announced that Jimmy Calitri and Tim Seib will become the company’s co-artistic directors effective immediately. They will succeed Tommy Iafrate who last June announced his July 2022 departure after five years in the role.
Both Calitri and Seib have extensive theatre backgrounds, including many productions at Festival 56.
“I could not be more excited to return to the Princeton community and Festival 56 in this new position alongside Tim Seib,” said Calitri about the appointment. “ After having worked as a director at F56 for over a decade, it is exciting to return on the 20th anniversary of the theater. This is a unique opportunity to not only celebrate all of the wonderful accomplishments of the theater and its professional partnerships over the past two decades with amazing theater artists but to see what amazing creative collaborations and work are in store for F56 and Princeton in the future. I am so excited to return home to my Princeton family, make new F56 friends, and continue the Festival’s long history of creating exceptional art that matters.” As part of Festival 56, Calitri directed The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The 39 Steps, Seussical the Musical, and The Addams Family, as well as many other productions.
Some of Seib’s favorite Festival 56 productions that he directed include The Wizard of Oz, Proof, Cabaret, Violet, Into the Woods, and Peter and the Starcatcher. Seib stated “This feels like a true homecoming that’s been 20 years in the making for me. Festival 56 was where I cut my teeth as a theatre artist right out of college; first as an actor in 2006 then as a director (my first professional directing contract) in 2007. For 13 consecutive years, I honed my skills and built a second family in Princeton as my love and appreciation for the community continued to grow. Through this new partnership, I am eager to give back to this community that has inspired and supported me so much along my own career path. As we celebrate the past 20 years of the Festival’s history, Jimmy and I are committed to bringing a new caliber of quality and excellence in professional theater to the Princeton area in the years to come. We cannot wait for you to see what we have in store!”
Their appointment comes after an extensive search that generated many applications from prospective theater professionals across the country. Board of Directors President Ron McCutchan stated, “At the end of the day, we felt that this partnership was a combination of the right people at the right time. They have a vision for Festival 56 that dovetails with that of the Board and a true love for the Princeton community and Festival 56. We are thrilled to welcome them back to Princeton in these new roles to build new partnerships with both artists and the community members.”