Bedford Playhouse has named its first executive director, Nicole Gardner.
Gardner joins the Playhouse, the 167-seat theater at 633 Old Post Road, from her previous position as director of development for the American Theatre Wing, the company that founded and co-produces the Tony Awards. She has more than 20 years of experience working for nonprofits.
“Nicole has joined us at a crucial juncture,” said Board Chair Sarah Long. “Over the summer, our small group of dedicated staff and volunteers have been handling a very complicated and diverse programming calendar in the main theater while still managing major construction in the rest of the facility. Nicole is now in place preparing for our opening and strategizing about our future.”
Gardner was selected from more than 100 applicants and began her position on Aug. 6.
“We looked long and hard to find just the right person to become our first executive director,” said Playhouse Founder John Farr. “In Nicole, we found a seasoned player in the nonprofit arts world who knows just how to launch and grow an exciting new enterprise like ours.”
Opened in 1947, the former two-screen theater has been renovated by a group led by Farr called Bedford Playhouse Inc. The Playhouse plans to complete construction, including on a cafe and bar, in late September.
“This role allows me to continue my work building cultural organizations while also pursuing my passion for bringing communities together and igniting minds through the arts,” Gardner said. “I look forward to working with the Bedford Playhouse board and staff to create a welcoming and dynamic destination for inspiration, creativity and dialogue in northern Westchester.”