Jonathan Berry is the new artistic director at Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor. Credit: Courtesy of Penobscot Theatre Company

Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor announced on Tuesday that Chicago-based director Jonathan Berry will take the role of the company’s new artistic director, succeeding Bari Newport, who left in 2021, and interim artistic director Tricia Hobbs, who has served since fall 2021.

“For the last 25 years, I’ve dedicated myself to the work of building community in Chicago through ensemble driven theatre,” Berry said Tuesday. “I look forward to supporting the existing foundation of PTC while expanding the work to better reflect our shifting perspectives and our changing world.”

A Michigan native, Berry spent the past seven years as an artistic producer and director at the renowned Steppenwolf Theatre in Chicago and its associated school. There, he produced a number of plays and directed productions including “Constellations” “Lindiwe” and “The Children,” as well as “The Crucible” and “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime” for the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program.

Berry is also a company member at the Griffin Theatre and the Steep Theatre, both in Chicago, and has taught at the University of Michigan, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago and Columbia College. He has also served as assistant director for Steppenwolf director Anna D. Shapiro’s Broadway productions of “Of Mice and Men” and “This is our Youth”.

“Jonathan is an engaging leader who has a desire to produce work that resonates with the many diverse facets of the Bangor region,” said Penobscot Theatre Company board president Sundance Campbell. “We are excited for him to share his vision with our audience, and to deepen the theatre’s relationship with the community.”

Berry will join current executive director Jen Shepard, who is currently starring in the one-woman show “Becoming Dr. Ruth,” which runs through May 22. A list of productions for the 2022-23 season — the first full season for the theater company since the pandemic began — has yet to be announced.


Emily Burnham

Emily Burnham is a Maine native and proud Bangorian, covering business, the arts, restaurants and the culture and history of the Bangor region.