Blackfriars Theater Announces First Female-Identifying Artistic Director

Local artist Brynn Tyszka will succeed Danny Hoskins as artistic director of Blackfriars Theatre. The three-month search process conducted by The Board of Directors included candidates from as far as Texas, Florida, North Carolina and Arkansas, as well as submissions from several local artists.

“In a highly competitive candidate pool, Brynn quickly rose to the top as a clear choice to continue to build upon Blackfriars’s long history of entertaining, engaging and inspiring audiences with exceptional theater featuring local artists,” says Board President Jason Tortorici.

Blackfriars’s Development Director, Mary Tiballi Hoffman, agrees, adding “Brynn’s extensive professional experience as a well-regarded director, choreographer, performer, arts marketer, and teaching artist, coupled with her passion for this company and strong vision for its future, make her” the perfect candidate for the job. I know she will be a champion for our local artists, a thoughtful artistic curator for our audiences, and an active advocate in our community. era.”

When she steps into her new role on August 1, 2022, Tyszka will be the first female-identifying artistic director in Blackfriars’s 73-year history. Hoskins will have served 16 years with Blackfriars, seven of them as artistic & managing director. Prior to his tenure, the company was run by John Haldoupis for 35 years.

Tyszka’s history with Blackfriars began in 2006, when she played Susan in tick, tick … BOOM! under the direction of Haldoupis. Since then, she has worked and performed several times with Blackfriars, including on Heathers the Musical (Heather Chandler), Beehive (choreographer), and Boeing Boeing (Gretchen), as well as performing in multiple Season Soirées. Most recently, she partnered with Hoskins and Hoffman to design, produce, and direct Blackfriars’s 2020 digital holiday show, Home for the Holidays.

Tyszka currently serves as the Social Media Manager (as well as teaching artist, director, and performer) for OFC Creations Theater Center in Brighton. Previously, she served as Director of Education for Actors’ Theater of Indiana, where she also performed as an ATI cast member (A Comedy of Tenors, Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, and a reading of Lindsay Adams’ new play, Rattler).

Prior to 2016, Tyszka served as Acting Department Chair for the Rochester Association for the Performing Arts (RAPA), where she developed and taught several acting classes, including Fundamentals, Scene Study, Characterization, The Art of Comedy, Script Analysis, and Movement for the stage. Additionally, she taught acting and coached musical theater privately as the founder of BKT Studio for Actors. She has also directed and choreographed several shows for high schools, colleges, community theaters, and semi-professional theaters throughout the Rochester area.

A former member of Actors’ Equity Association and a proud alum of the Nazareth College Theater Arts program, Tyszka has performed nationally on tour with NETworks and ArtsPower productions as well as regionally with Geva Theater Center, Actors’ Theater of Indiana, DEEP Arts, JCC CenterStage, Pittsford Musicals and Playhouse on the Park in Connecticut.

“Like many other theater artists in Rochester, to me, Blackfriars has always felt like a second home,” she says. “To say that it has been a lifelong goal to work within a company that continuously strives to inspire and engage the community through exceptional work would be a vast understatement – to direct the artistic vision of such a company is an unparalleled honor and privilege.”

Blackfriars Theatre, a professional, not-for-profit theater, has entertained audiences for over 70 years in downtown Rochester, NY. Their mission is to enrich, entertain and inspire our community through exceptional theatrical arts while engaging local talent.

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