History & Mission
The Gloucester Stage Company’s mission is to present professional productions of intellectually stimulating and socially relevant theater, provide a nurturing work environment in an inspirational setting for artists of exceptional talent, enrich the greater theater landscape by introducing audiences to new work, and contribute to the cultural and educational development of Cape Ann.
Gloucester Stage Company was co-founded in 1979 by Geoff Richon, Denny Blodget, and award-winning playwright Israel Horovitz as a “safe harbor for playwrights and new plays.” For its first seven seasons, the company performed at the historic Blackburn Tavern in downtown Gloucester.
In 1987, Gorton’s Seafood Company generously offered GSC a long-term residence in its building in East Gloucester on Smith’s Cove adjacent the galleries and restaurants of Rocky Neck, the oldest art colony in the United States. A former Gorton’s warehouse, the two-story brick building has served as the permanent home of the Gloucester Stage Company ever since. In 2004, GSC purchased the building from Gorton’s, which was renovated to include a large lobby plus heating and air conditioning. The theater seats up to 190 guests on three sides of a thrust stage. During its first twenty seasons, Gloucester Stage successfully realized its mission with the production of more than 32 World premieres, 6 American premieres, and 17 New England premieres. 2017 will be GSC’s 38th season.
Plays developed at Gloucester Stage have gone on to critical and popular acclaim on Broadway, off-Broadway, across the United States, and around the world. The Company has received numerous awards and citations including several Elliot Norton Awards (awarded by The Boston Theater Critic’s Association) for individual productions and performances and a New England Theater Conference Award. In 1986 Mr. Horovitz was honored as the fourth recipient (following Peter Altman, Peter Sellars, and Robert Brustein) with Boston’s prestigious Elliot Norton Prize for his work with GSC.
Mr. Horovitz stepped down as Artistic Director in 2006 but continues as a prominent member of the artistic company and member of the Board of Directors. In 2007, Eric Engel became the company’s second Artistic Director and served in that capacity until 2014. In 2014 actor and director Robert Walsh was chosen Interim Artistic Director by the Board of Directors and assumed the title of Artistic Director in October, 2015. He was joined by Jeff Zinn in the role of Managing Director that same year.