Bucks County Playhouse impresario takes leading role as president of Lincoln Center

The man who helped bring the Bucks County Playhouse back to life has been tapped to lead the Lincoln Center in Manhattan.

Next year, Broadway producer Jed Bernstein will become the president of the country’s largest performing-arts nonprofit organization.

Bernstein comes from the world of commercial theater; he was the longtime president of the Broadway League and and an essential part of the revival of the old Bucks County Playhouse in New Hope, Pennsylvania.

As incoming president of the Lincoln Center, he will oversee the $1.2 billion home of the Metropolitan Opera, the New York City Ballet, and the New York Philharmonic, which is waiting for the renovation of its Avery Hall.

“The first and most important thing to always say about this challenge is, we have to do everything we can to support great art,” said Bernstein. “Hand in hand with that is audience development. All the arts, but certainly classical arts, are challenged in that regard.”

Over the last year and a half, Bernstein has been the force behind the productions at the Bucks County Playhouse, a once-vital summer stock playhouse that was bankrupt and shuttered in 2010. New owners invested millions in its renovations, and hired Bernstein to make it a professional equity house operating year-round.

“We said we wanted to attract big stars, with James Earl Jones and Tyne Daly last year, so we achieved that,” said Bernstein.

Bernstein says the next producing director needs to make the Bucks County Playhouse a player on the national theatrical scene, as well as make it part of the fabric of its immediate region.

“To make the community of new hope and Lambertville other town in Bucks County really feel a sense of ownership and connection to this playhouse,” said Bernstein. “Even though it’s owned by a private foundation, I think people are coming to know this as their playhouse.”

Bernstein will be part of the national search for his successor. He moves to the Lincoln Center in January.

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