At the center of Geva Theatre Center are artists and patrons. People. Geva engages over a hundred actors, directors, designers and writers each year to create memorable productions for our patrons. Some of these artists live in Rochester, and many live in other parts of the country but call Geva an artistic home.
The core artists not only collaborate on all the season planning each year, but participate in their own area of discipline on many of Geva’s productions. The artistic brand of Geva is defined by these core artists.
Elizabeth Williamson has built a distinguished career as a producer, director, dramaturg, and adaptor. She has worked extensively and to great fanfare throughout the U.S. and around the globe, including on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in London’s West End. She commissioned and served as dramaturg for The Inheritance, by Matthew López, which won four Tony Awards in 2020, including Best Play, and the Olivier Award for Best Play. She was the creative producer, dramaturg, and co-director of Sarah Gancher’s New York Times “Best Theatre of 2020” pick Russian Troll Farm (produced online). Other recent projects include commissioning and developing Kaneza Schaal’s JACK &, directing Henry V and her own adaptation of Jane Eyre for Hartford Stage, and dramaturging Robert Freedman and Steven Lutvak’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder, which won four Tony Awards, including Best Musical.
Ms. Williamson’s extensive organizational leadership experience includes producing, new play development, and community engagement. She previously served as Associate Artistic Director and Literary Manager at Pioneer Theatre Company in Salt Lake City from 2008 – 2012 and as Associate Artistic Director and Director of New Play Development at Hartford Stage from 2012 – 2020. Ms. Williamson is known for her commitment to centering the work of LGBTQIA, BIPOC, and women artists and looks forward to furthering her dedication to new work and community engagement initiatives in her role at Geva.
Literary Director/Resident Dramaturg
Jenni Werner is in her seventh season as the Literary Director and Resident Dramaturg at Geva Theatre Center. By the end of this season, Ms. Werner will have served as the dramaturg on twenty-five Geva productions, including world premieres of plays by Wendy MacLeod, Deborah Zoe Laufer, Cass Morgan, Nora Cole and Jamie Pachino. She also produces Geva’s Festival of New Theatre, manages Geva’s play commissioning program, leads the development of new plays at Geva, and co-produces the Hornets’ Nest reading series. In 2015, she co-produced Geva’s four day blues festival celebrating the life and legacy of Son House, Journey to the Son. Previously, she served as the Director of Programming at Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national organization for the non-profit theatre field. From 2005-2011, Ms. Werner produced TCG’s annual National Conference, curating the content and organizing the logistics for the largest national gathering of professionals in the non-profit theatre field. For six years, she was also an adjunct instructor in the Program in Educational Theatre at New York University, and the resident dramaturg of NYU’s Looking for Shakespeare program for high school students. She is now an adjunct instructor in the English department at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and has also taught at SUNY Geneseo and the College of Brockport. She has an M.F.A. in dramaturgy from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and a B.A. in theatre and history from Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois. Ms. Werner proudly serves on the board of directors for ImageOut, Rochester’s LGBT Film Festival.
Harrison David Rivers
Playwright in Residence
Harrison David Rivers is an award-winning playwright, librettist and television writer based in St. Paul, Minnesota. His plays include The Bandaged Place (Roundabout, New York Stage & Film), we are continuous (Geva Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Center), This Bitter Earth (TheatreWorks Hartford, InterAct, The Road, Richmond Triangle Players, Theater Alliance, About Face, Penumbra, New Conservatory Theatre Center), Where Storms are Born (Williamstown Theatre Festival), When Last We Flew (Out Front, Real Live Arts, TheatreLAB, Diversionary, NYFringe), and the musicals Five Points with Douglas Lyons and Ethan Pakchar, We Shall Someday with Ted Shen, and I Put a Spell on You with Nubya Garcia.
His television credits include One of Us is Lying (Peacock) The Nevers (HBO), Wytches (Amazon) and The Plot (Hulu).
Harrison is a recipient of McKnight, Jerome and Van Lier Fellowships, residencies with the Bogliasco Foundation, Siena Art Institute, the Hermitage and Duke University, and commissions from Roundabout, Transport Group, Penumbra, TheatreWorks Hartford, Geva Theatre Center and La Jolla, among others.
He sits on the Board of Directors of The Movement Theatre Company and the Playwrights’ Center.
Geva Theatre Center’s artist-educators are integrated into the theatre’s education programming to teach Geva’s artistic work to students in a variety of settings. Each year, Geva’s education and community programs serve over 16,000 students with in-school workshops, theatre trips, artist visits and demonstrations.
DELORES JACKSON RADNEY
MARY MENDEZ RIZZO