Philly Theater Co’s new artistic directors are a couple

“We have different but complementary skill sets,” Dobrowski said. “We’re both directors, and we’re both producers, and we’re both artistic leaders, but I probably have more of an organizational mind and an institutional mind, while Tybee is much more comfortable in the rehearsal room, talking to the actors, talking to the designers.”

On September 6, they will both begin work as the new artistic director duo of one of Philadelphia’s oldest theater companies. In 2024, PTC will be 50 years old. They will replace former artistic director Paige Price, who left after five seasons to become an independent theater producer.

On September 6, husband-and-wife duo Tybee Magar and Tyler Dobrowski will begin work as the new artistic director duo of one of Philadelphia’s oldest theater companies. (Photo by Mark Garvin, courtesy of Philadelphia Theater Company)

Magar has previous ties to Philadelphia, serving as a senior faculty member at the University of the Arts and producing The Underground Railroad Game with local theater company Lightening Rod Special. Underground premiered at the Philadelphia Fringe in 2015 and went on a highly successful national tour, winning an Obie Award for its New York run.

“I’ve just had a wonderful time in this community,” Magar said of the Philadelphia theater scene. “It’s a community that’s filled with fierce, fierce talent and ideas that really push art forward.”

Dobrowski spent many years at the Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, where he and Magar met, first running education programs and later rising to the position of assistant artistic director.

“When COVID happened, Trinity cut staff significantly. I started working at the Swearer Center for Public Service at Brown University,” he said. “We wanted to have an artistic home where we could develop new projects and implement educational and community programs. That’s what we did at Trinity. We wanted to have our own space for that.”

Located literally downtown in the Suzanne Roberts Theater on the Avenue of the Arts, the Philadelphia Theater Company has seen more than its share of turbulence since union strike in 2015 and approaching bankruptcyon public summons due to the lack of variety in seasonal programming.

Like theaters around the world, PTC has suffered during the pandemic. Amidst the forced closure of theaters across the city, PTC has taken steps to address perceived deficiencies in terms of diversity and inclusion participating in diversity discussions and hiring an artist-in-residence who specializes in community outreach.


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