Rick Lombardo

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Rick Lombardo
Born (1959-03-24) March 24, 1959 (age 64)
Occupation(s)director, producer, writer

Rick Lombardo (born March 24, 1959) is a prolific and award-winning American theatre director, playwright and adaptor. He is the former producing artistic director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, and the former Artistic Director of New Repertory Theatre[1] in Watertown, Massachusetts. Lombardo is currently the artistic director of Penn State Center Stage, and the director of the School of Theatre at Penn State University and the Penn State College of Arts and Architecture.[2]

He is an executive board member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society[3] and a Senior Fellow with the American Leadership Forum Silicon Valley. He currently lives in Pennsylvania with his wife, actress Rachel Harker.[4]


Lombardo attended and graduated Georgetown University with a BS in Psychology and minor in theatre, and earned the MFA in Directing from the Boston University School for the Arts.[5]

Life and career[edit]

Upon graduation Lombardo was named co-director ad interim of the theatre program at Fordham University's College at Lincoln Center from 1991 to 1992, where he also taught as an assistant professor of acting and directing for four years.[4]

During this time Lombardo also became the founding artistic director of Stillwater Theater Company in New York City, and later as artistic director of The Players Guild in Canton, Ohio.[6]

In 1997 Lombardo became the artistic director of New Repertory Theater, then located in Newton, Massachusetts. Over the next 12 years Lombardo would be credited with bringing in a younger audience[7] and leading the company to a larger and more profitable theatrical venue in the Arsenal Center for the Arts in Watertown, Massachusetts where the company currently resides.

Lombardo left New Rep after the 2008–09 season to helm San Jose Repertory Theatre in San Jose, California[5] after a national search was conducted to replace outgoing Artistic Director Timothy Near.[8]

In 2013 Lombardo assumed the role of Producing Artistic Director of the company after a vote by the board of trustees to change the leadership model from a dual CEO structure to a single CEO model.[9][10]

In June 2014, the San Jose Repertory Theatre board of trustees informed Mr. Lombardo that they had voted to close the theater[11] as he was in rehearsal for American Premiere of "Landscape With Weapon" by Joe Penhall. About the closing, Lombardo had this to say:

I was in mourning, it was the same grief I felt when my parents died.

— Rick Lombardo, Hounded by Reality, Staging a Fairy Tale ‘Snow Queen’ Emerges From Defunct San Jose Theater, The New York Times

In July 2014 Lombardo began production of his original musical (co-written with Kirsten Brandt, and Haddon Kime) “The Snow Queen: A New Musical” for The New York Musical Theatre Festival. This production won both a favorable review from The New York Times[12] as well as an award for Best Overall Design[13] which Lombardo shared with David Cuthbert (lighting and projection designer), Frances Nelson McSherry (costume designer), and Haddon Kime (co-sound designer.)

In April 2015 Lombardo accepted an offer to become chair of the Department of Theatre and Performance Studies at Kennesaw State University in Kennesaw, Georgia.[14] While at Kennesaw State University Lombardo led the initiative to create a summer professional Shakespeare company called Shakespeare Kennesaw,[15]

In June 2018 Lombardo accepted a position as the director of the School of Theatre at Penn State University, and the artistic director of Penn State Center Stage,[2] a professional arm of the Penn State School of Theatre which serves as a training program for emerging theatre professionals.[16]

Selected works directed[edit]


2009 Eliott Norton Award for Sustained Excellence[17]


  1. ^ Actors' Equity Association, [1], "Boston's New Repertory Theatre Has a New Home"], 01 March 2006
  2. ^ a b Penn State School of Theatre. ""Award-Winning Director Rick Lombardo to Lead Penn State School of Theatre"". University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State College of Arts and Architecture.
  3. ^ Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, [2] "Rick Lombardo, Southwest Regional Rep"]
  4. ^ a b Brooke M. Haney, [3], Interview with Rick Lombardo, Artistic Director of San Jose Repertory Theatre, 10 March 2010
  5. ^ a b Kenneth Jones, Playbill [4], "Boston Director Lombardo Named San Jose Rep's Artistic Director"
  6. ^ Steven Winn, [5], "Rick Lombardo to head San Jose Rep"
  7. ^ Louise Kennedy, The Boston Globe [6], "The House Lombardo Built - and Left Behind"
  8. ^ San Jose Repertory Theater Website,[7], "The History of San Jose Rep"
  9. ^ Broadway World News, [8] "Rick Lombardo Assumes New Role of Producing Artistic Director for San Jose Rep", 01 November 2013
  10. ^ San Jose Mercury News, Karen D'Souza / "San Jose Repertory eases cash crunch with donation drive", 01 November 2013
  11. ^ Steven McElroy (July 16, 2014). "Hounded by Reality, Staging a Fairy Tale 'Snow Queen' Emerges From Defunct San Jose Theater'". The New York Times. New York City.
  12. ^ Anita Gates (July 21, 2014). ""A Fairy-Tale That Rocks' - The Snow Queen,' Based on a Hans Christian Anderson Story"". The New York Times. New York City.
  13. ^ ""NYMF 2014 Awards for Excellence Winners Announced'". New York City: The New York Musical Theater Festival. 2014.
  14. ^ Rick Lombardo. ""Welcome from the Chair"". Kennesaw, Georgia: Kennesaw State University.
  15. ^ BWW News Desk. ""Lombardo To Lead Penn State School Of Theatre"". Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Broadway World.
  16. ^ Amy Milgrub Marshall. ""Penn State Centre Stage"". University Park, Pennsylvania: Penn State University.
  17. ^ New Rep Website,[9], "New Rep Awards"

External links[edit]