WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. — Jenny Gersten is stepping down as artistic director after three years with the Williamstown Theatre Festival.
Gersten will leave at the end of the year to become executive director of Friends of the Highline
, the non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and re-use of an elevated railway that has become a public park in New York City.
According to a statement from the festival, Gersten will continue to oversee the 2014 summer season "to ensure a seamless leadership transition" as the search for a new director begins.
"It's with a heavy heart that I prepare to leave the Williamstown Theatre Festival, which has been my home for many years," said Gersten in a statement. "However, the opportunity to work at the High Line provides me a way to offer service and imaginative programming to a very special part of a city I love — my hometown. It was irresistible.
"I'm thrilled to be able to stay on to oversee the 2014 season artistically. It promises to be a very special summer, and I'm happy to keep ties to a place I hold dear."
Gersten was hired in 2010
to replace the departing Nicholas Martin. She was associate producer for the festival from 1996 to 2004.
"Jenny has been an amazing leader and friend, and she will be dearly missed," said Matthew Harris, president of the festival's board of trustees. "We wish her great success in her exciting new endeavor, where we know she will continue to enrich the cultural landscape for all of us."
Gersten oversaw three record-breaking seasons that included the workshop production of David Byrne and Fat Boy Slim's "Here Lies Love"(directed by Alex Timbers) at Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, the world premieres of "Far From Heaven," "The Bridges of Madison County," Katori Hall's "Whaddabloodclot!!!" the American Premiere of "Ten Cents a Dance" (conceived and directed by John Doyle), "The Elephant Man"(starring Bradley Cooper and Patricia Clarkson), and more.