Sam Osheroff has announced that due to his family relocating west, he will step down as Artistic Director of Riverside Theatre at the conclusion of the 2016 Riverside in the Park season. The theatre has identified Sean Lewis as its interim artistic director.
"The work that's appeared on our stages this season with Sam at the helm has been terrific,” said Riverside Executive Director Jennifer Holan. “We’re sorry to see Sam move on, but the Board and I understand the need to follow his wife in her career path. We all feel Sean Lewis will be an excellent interim Artistic Director for Riverside Theatre. We are fortunate that an individual of Sean’s ability is willing to step in.”
Lewis has led Working Group Theatre, the company he co-founded, from a no-budget experiment to a nationally touring and award-winning company. The theatre anticipates his interim assignment at Riverside Theatre to last for the next two seasons. A search and hiring plan for a permanent artistic director will be developed and implemented during that time.
During his time as interim artistic director, Lewis intends to “bring forward what I think theater can do best: provoke thought, provide wonder, inspire hope and broker understanding.” He noted that he will be making some adjustments to the upcoming season programming to articulate this vision, and to lay a strong foundation for the future.
Lewis said that plays now under consideration for 16-17 include “one of the best African American dramas of the past fifteen years, an American Classic, and an international hit about the lengths we’re willing to go to for our most self-destructive loved ones.”
Lewis also described his desire to provide opportunities for local artists. “With Working Group, I've been able to bring Iowa actors and artists to national stages, and each time, people are blown away by the wealth of artistic talent we have here. I’m excited to provide avenues for the actors, designers, technicians, writers and directors from our own backyard to be able to thrive and grow at Riverside.”
Riverside Theatre will issue a revised season announcement once plans are finalized.