BANGOR — After a nationwide search, Penobscot Theatre, Bangor’s professional theater company, has announced Bari Newport as its new artistic director. Newport will begin her new position on Jan. 1, 2012.

“I am thrilled with the appointment of Bari Newport as the Artistic Director of the Penobscot Theatre. Bari’s energy, enthusiasm and theatrical knowledge will be vital to the momentum and vision of the theatre.” says Penobscot Theatre Board President Cathy Mahar.

“If art, and theatre in particular, is at its core a reflection of the community in which it exists, I am deeply humbled to join the community of Bangor in continuing the artistically ambitious vision started by my predecessors 38 years ago. Together, with the extraordinary staff, artists and with the support of the people of the greater Bangor area, I look forward to throwing open the Opera House doors with programming that attracts, engages and inspires the community.” stated Newport

Most recently, Newport was artistic associate at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Previously, she was artistic associate/literary manager at the Pasadena Playhouse, associate producer at Horizon Theatre and associate director at Florida Repertory Theatre. As a producer, Newport has been responsible for the creation and stabilization of a wide range of artistic initiatives including extensive work in new play development, education and community engagement. As a director and actor, her work has been seen at Horizon Theatre Company, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, American Stage, Cumberland County Playhouse, Florida Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, Westport Country Playhouse and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. Bari holds a BFA from the University of Southern California, where her efforts yielded the creation of the Bill White Memorial Theatre Collection, USC’s first and only theatrical library. She received her master’s degree from the University of Iowa. Newport was a recipient of the TCG New Generations: Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke Foundations.

Newport will be conducting an open meet-and-greet audition within the first few weeks of her arrival. She will be looking for musicians, visual artists, designers and performers of all ages and experience levels. Details about the auditions will be forthcoming as the audition date gets closer. For more information, visit