Press Releases

Wiley Hausam Named Director of Performing Arts Center

Date Released: 8/29/2008

Purchase College has named Wiley Hausam of New York City the new Executive Director of The Performing Arts Center. He will assume the post July 14. Mr. Hausam had been Executive Director of the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University.

“We are excited to welcome Wiley Hausam to Purchase and The Performing Arts Center, one of the leading cultural arts centers in Westchester and the New York area,” said Purchase College President Thomas J. Schwarz. “His vast experience as an artistic director and producer in New York, his years with the Public Theater, and his management and artistic responsibilities at the Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University, will provide a new dimension and direction for our programming efforts. I look forward to working with him as we reinvigorate our presentations and create new opportunities for the Center to interface with our students and their curriculum.”

“On behalf of the Board of The Performing Arts Center Foundation, I am delighted to have Wiley Hausam join us as Executive Director of The Performing Arts Center. His leadership experience and commitment to community outreach are extensive and exciting, and we look forward to a productive and successful working relationship with him,” said board chair Ann Scheuer.

“I am extremely pleased to join President Schwarz and Board Chair Ann Scheuer in a leadership role with the Center,” said Wiley Hausam. “The Performing Arts Center at Purchase College has a very distinguished history. I look forward very much to working closely with the faculty, the staff and the board to move it firmly into the present moment while maintaining its impressively high standards.”

As Executive Director of The Performing Arts Center, Mr. Hausam will have responsibility for the artistic programming, operation and financial performance of the Center. He will report to Provost Damian Fernandez and work closely with deans and faculty of the School of the Arts and others to develop collaborative and outreach programs and activities that serve the campus. He will also work closely with the board of The Performing Arts Center Foundation.

Wiley Hausam served as the founding executive director of the Jack H. Skirball Center for the Performing Arts at New York University for six years (2002-2007) where he oversaw construction and outfitting of the new 850 seat theatre. He selected programming, (music, dance, theatre and opera, including the commissioning of two world premieres), defined the mission, and had management responsibilities for the budget, the staff, rentals and long-range planning for this theatre focused on developing young adult audiences (ages 18-30).

He was artistic director of Songbook Series @Joe’s Pub from 1998 to 2002, a Bistro-Award –winning weekly cabaret series affiliated with The Public Theater of New York. It featured a rising generation of theatre songwriters, as well as neglected American songwriters. Some of the finest Broadway and opera singers appeared on its stage including: Audra McDonald, Dawn Upshaw, Peter Cincotti, Patti LuPone, and Harvey Fierstein.

He was Associate Producer and a member of the senior administrative staff of the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival for seven theatrical seasons. (1993-2000). This internationally recognized non-profit theatre presents from five to ten productions and two Free Shakespeare in Central Park productions annually. Following the death of founder Joseph Papp in 1991, he was a major participant in the theatre’s reorganization and rejuvenation. He served as associate producer for four of the Public Theater’s productions on Broadway (including the Tony winning Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk) and from 1996 to 2000 he was responsible for supervision and development of the Public Theater’s musical theatre, including six new works. He also established the Songbook Series in Joe’s Pub.

Earlier experience included serving as founder and producer of the New Lyric Festival, a summer festival devoted to developing new American musical theatre in Northampton, Massachusetts. Director Harold Prince was a primary advisor for the project and two new works went on to productions at The Public Theater and Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago.

He served as a theatre, television, film and literary agent with the International Creative Management Agency in New York and as a booking agent for the company’s classical music division, ICM Artists Ltd. in New York. He was also assistant production manager of the Houston Grand Opera, and a member of the production staff of the Lyric Opera of Chicago.

A native of Sedalia, Missouri, he is a graduate of the Northwestern University School of Music which he followed with graduate study at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. At Columbia University he took non-degree post-graduate courses in the Philosophy of Art and he earned a Certificate in Fundraising at New York University.

From 1997 to the present he has been an adjunct professor in the Graduate Musical Theatre Writing Program at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.

He is the editor of The New American Musical: An Anthology from the End of the Century published by Theatre Communications Group in 2003.

The Performing Arts Center annually draws nearly 200,000 people who attend more than 650 performances by some of the major performers in the world. Audiences also attend benefits and events in the Center’s four theatres. An important focus has been programming to show contrasting influences and traditions. This season the programs will explore global cultures with specific focus on the U.S., Eastern Europe, Israel and France. They will also emphasize the College’s year-long theme “Environment is Everything: Creative Communities, Changing Climates.” The Performing Arts Center, the Neuberger Museum of Art and the college’s academic divisions will all promote these themes from their own perspectives.

The Center’s Arts-in-Education program presents over 20 educational events for school children ages 5-18 from area schools each season. These include in-school programs, performing arts workshops and special performances at The Performing Arts Center. Over 25 percent of participating students attend on scholarships.

Master classes with artists featured in the Center’s professional series are presented to Conservatory students on campus, creating unique opportunities for School of the Arts students to engage directly with leading practitioners in their respective fields.

Highlights of the Center’s 31st season will include performances by Garrick Ohlsson, the Harlem String Quartet, The National Philharmonic of Russia, Argentina’s Estampas Portenas, Africa’s Soweto Gospel Choir, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, tap dancer Savion Glover, the Shakespeare & Company production of Hamlet, and a new series, Conversations on Creativity, Craft and Career with Pulitzer Prize winner Frank McCourt, dancer/choreographer Jacques D’Amboise, performer and educator Carmen de Lavallade and actor Frances Sternhagen.

Also featured are performances by students in the Purchase College School of the Arts Conservatories of Dance, Music and Theatre Arts & Film. The overall theme for the year “Environment is Everything: Creative Communities, Changing Climates,” will be reflected in performances by the Purchase Repertory Theatre, Purchase Dance Corps, the Purchase Symphony Orchestra, the Purchase Jazz Orchestra, Purchase Opera, and a 2008 Royal and Shirley Durst Lecture by author and New York Times columnist on agriculture, and environment, Verlyn Klinkenborg.

The Performing Arts Center has become “the venue” for American premieres, as well as for dozens of artists and companies, which have presented exclusive New York area performances at Purchase. It also has a history of presenting artists of exceptional talent before they have reached prominence, and a reputation for encouraging experimental productions and avant-garde companies.

The Center has a strong influence on the development of the arts in Westchester County over the past three decades. It provides an exceptional facility and professional expertise to local arts organizations from professional symphony orchestras to community dance schools. The versatility of The Center’s theatres and the convenience of its location to New York City have attracted the professional theatre, film and recording industries. In addition to numerous classical recordings, many Broadway shows have made use of The Center’s facilities including The Lion King.