Founding Artistic Director Shakina Nayfack Elected as Board Chair
NEW YORK (March 8, 2022) – Musical Theatre Factory (MTF), a nonprofit arts organization with a radical, intentional and inclusive mission to help musical theatre artists develop and present new work in a collaborative atmosphere free from commercial pressure, announced Brisa Areli Muñoz today as the new Artistic Director. Since its founding, MTF’s signature programs have assisted in the development of hundreds of new musical works – including Michael R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize Winning “A Strange Loop,” which will receive its Broadway premiere in April.
Muñoz will work under the guidance of the Board of Directors and alongside President & Managing Director Aaron Salley to execute the Factory’s mission and service offerings. Shakina Nayfack, MTF Founding Artistic Director will now serve as Board Chair. Today’s announcement caps off six month search after Mei Ann Teo’s three year tenure as Artistic Director. Teo took on a new role at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 2021.
“Brisa Areli embodies all things MTF in her creative and administrative work,” said Nayfack. “She is a change maker, a community builder, a thought leader, and a visionary dreamer, and I couldn’t be more enthusiastic about passing the torch of the Factory’s leadership to her during this time of renaissance and reflection. I look forward to working with her alongside our Managing Director, Aaron Salley, and our board of directors, as we return to in-person programming and undertake a strategic planning process that will enable Musical Theatre Factory to continue growing in our industry and serving our community well into the future.”
Muñoz is a Chicane theatre director whose work exists at the intersection of artistic practice, popular education and justice using art as a tool to motivate, activate and transform. She is committed to exploring the ways art-based strategies can provoke critical consciousness, community engagement and civic justice.
“It is at a pivotal moment in our history that I approach this position, charged and ready to activate and collaborate with Musical Theatre Factory’s thriving community of radical artists,” said Muñoz. “Shakina’s foundational leadership and Mei Ann’s rigorous visioning have cultivated groundbreaking musical theatre makers and I am energized by the opportunity to amplify our incredible Factory artists and create avenues for new artists to grow and shine. My work with MTF would seek to support musical theater that radically approaches artistic processes for the purposes of creating flourishing, just communities.”
Muñoz was an inaugural Artistic Director of New York City’s first ever All-Inclusive All-City Theater Ensemble, an NYC Department of Education citywide theater company that creates original musicals with teens of all abilities. She also served as Manager of Community Partnerships for The Public Theater’s Public Works program.
Muñoz has directed and facilitated work with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Center Theatre Group, The Kennedy Center, The Public Theater, Carnegie Hall, REDCAT Cal Arts Theater, Arts Emerson, New Jersey Performing Arts Center, BRIC Arts Media, SHoP Architects, Sojourn Theatre, Oye Group, CUNY Creative Arts Team, Hi-ARTS, Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, New York City Children’s Theater, Vital Theatre, Atlantic Pacific Theatre, Thirteen O’Clock Theatre, CO/LAB, and Actionplay. She directed the national tour of Alex Alpharaoh’s WET: A DACAmented Journey. The LA Critics Pick was produced across 20 cities, concluding its run at Yale Repertory Theatre.
She will also serve as Associate Director for American Repertory Theater’s upcoming production of 1776 Directed by Jeffrey Page and Diane Paulus, including a Broadway run at American Airlines Theatre.
Muñoz received her Master’s in Applied Theatre from the City University of New York, and acquired additional training at The New School in Organizational Change Management. She is an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College & Baylor University and a teaching assistant at Harvard University.
MTF is intentional as a gatekeeper and curator with robust systems in place through governing bylaws and the Assembly Line programming to ensure that resources go directly to support the work of artists who traditionally have not been given equal opportunity and access.