Transition for the College of the Arts

Transition for the College of the Arts

Wiley Hausam Appointed Director of Arts and Cultural Programming

Veteran live performance presenter, theater producer, educator, and editor Wiley Hausam has been named Director of the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming at Montclair State University. In his new position, he will be responsible for building upon the success of the storied PEAK Performances series, creating a new, wide-ranging program of professional theatre, music, dance, and public events for the university and surrounding communities.

Since 2002, Hausam has been a successful executive director of multi-arts performing arts programs and facilities at four leading universities: New York University (opening the Skirball Center), Stanford University (inaugurating Stanford Live and opening the Bing Concert Hall), Purchase College, and, for the past five years, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts where he oversaw five theaters and relaunched UNCSA Presents, a professional visiting artist series.

“We couldn’t be more excited to have Wiley leading the Office of Arts and Cultural Programming,” said Daniel Gurskis, Dean of the College of the Arts. “With his long and impressive history as a programmer and executive director of multi-arts presenting organizations serving diverse audiences, he is uniquely prepared to reimagine professional performing arts presentation at Montclair State University.”

As a presenter, Hausam has curated seasons featuring some of the world’s most influential artists:  Lang Lang, the Harlem String Quartet, Yo-Yo Ma, Kronos Quartet, Laurie Anderson, Jon Batiste, Cecile McLorin Salvant, Christian McBride, Jake Shimabukuro, Emmylou Harris, Mavis Staples, DakhaBrakha, Audra McDonald, Patti LuPone, Mandy Patinkin, the Abbey Theatre of Dublin, Mabou Mines, Anna Deavere Smith, Basil Twist, the Paul Taylor Dance Company, the Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Kyle Abraham’s AIM, and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, as well as such thinkers as Harold Bloom, Vice President Al Gore, Jeffrey Sachs, and others.

“I am thrilled with the opportunity to collaborate with the talented Arts and Cultural Programming staff, as well as the university faculty, as we relaunch live cultural programming at Montclair and connect with the many communities the university serves,” said Hausam.

Earlier in his career, Hausam was active in the theater in New York City, first as a playwrights’ and directors’ representative (the agent for George C. Wolfe, Anna Deavere Smith, Suzan-Lori Parks, Michael John LaChiusa, and Jonathan Larson, among others) and then as an associate producer under George C. Wolfe at The Public Theater.

While at The Public, he launched Joe’s Pub with Audra McDonald’s first-ever professional live concert, curated the award-winning Songbook Series there, and served as the associate producer of four Broadway shows: George C. Wolfe’s productions of The Tempest starring Patrick Stewart, The Wild Party starring Mandy Patinkin, Eartha Kitt, and Toni Collette, On the Town starring Savion Glover, and Bring in ‘da Noise, Bring in ‘da Funk.

Hausam graduated from the School of Music at Northwestern University and received the Alumni Merit Award from the university in 2015.

“As the first in my family to attend college and the son of an immigrant,” Hausam observed, “I am living proof that the arts change lives. I believe passionately that every individual deserves the opportunity to participate in the performing arts, be it on the stage, in the audience, or in the classroom.”

Hausam’s full biography is available here.
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Jedediah Wheeler Stepping Down

After eighteen years of presenting groundbreaking performances in theater, dance, music, and video through the acclaimed PEAK Performances series, Jedediah Wheeler has stepped down as the Executive Director of the Office of Arts + Cultural Programming at Montclair State University, effective July 1, 2022.

“Jed Wheeler’s vision and passion have brought to the Alexander Kasser Theater work that simply could not be seen anywhere else,” said Daniel Gurskis, Dean of the College of the Arts. “Under his leadership, PEAK Performances has become synonymous with productions that defy expectation and stir the imagination.”

Wheeler’s departure coincides with a restructuring that will eliminate the executive director role and replace it with two new positions: one responsible for arts and cultural programming and the other overseeing operations of the performing arts venues across the campus.

“There has been no shortage of challenges for the performing arts over the past two years,” noted Gurskis, “but we remain committed to bringing the highest quality live entertainment to a diverse audience from the university and the community. These organizational changes will ensure we are ready to meet that goal.”

A national search is underway for the newly created position of Director of Arts and Cultural Programming, while J. Ryan Graves, current Director of Production for the Kasser Theater, has been tapped to head the new Department of Performance Operations. To assist in the transition, Wheeler will serve as Artistic Director of the PEAK Performances Series through the end of 2022.

The PEAK Performance’s season has been confirmed for 2022-23. For more information, visit the Arts + Cultural Programming calendar.