His decision means that there are job openings for the top positions at three of the four nonprofits with Broadway houses, portending potentially significant change, and uncertainty, in a key sector of the theater industry that has had almost no leadership turnover for decades. Nonprofit theaters, which pay lower artist wages than commercial productions and are funded by philanthropy as well as box office sales, have become an important part of the Broadway ecosystem; Lincoln Center Theater has been able to stage musicals on a larger scale than many commercial producers can afford.
On Wednesday, Carole Rothman, the president and artistic director of Second Stage Theater, said that after 45 years she would be leaving that institution, which she co-founded; Second Stage operates the Helen Hayes Theater on Broadway. And Roundabout Theater Company currently has an interim artistic director following the death in April of Todd Haimes, who led that organization for four decades; Roundabout operates three Broadway houses, including the American Airlines, the Stephen Sondheim and Studio 54.
Lincoln Center Theater, which is a resident organization at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, has three stages of varying sizes, and has produced a wide variety of work. The company currently has an annual budget of $34.5 million and 55 full-time employees; Bishop received $783,191 in total compensation during fiscal 2022, according to an I.R.S. filing.
The Vivian Beaumont Theater, where Lincoln Center Theater has staged Broadway revivals of “Camelot,” “South Pacific,” “The King and I” and “My Fair Lady,” is the third-largest stage in New York, after Radio City Music Hall and the Metropolitan Opera; it also features a thrust configuration that is quite rare on Broadway.
When asked about the productions he was proudest of he named “The Coast of Utopia,” Tom Stoppard’s trilogy about 19th-century Russian intellectuals, which began running in 2006 and won the 2007 Tony Award for best play. Lincoln Center Theater’s other Tony-winning productions during Bishop’s tenure include “Carousel,” “The Heiress,” “A Delicate Balance,” “Contact,” “Henry IV,” “Awake and Sing,” “South Pacific,” “War Horse,” “The King and I” and “Oslo.”