John Dias

Dramaturg: Cymbeline

John Dias headshot

John Dias assumed his position as Artistic Director of Two River Theater in 2010 after working as a producer and dramaturg in New York for over 20 years. In partnership with Managing Director Michael Hurst he has brought new acclaim and vitality to the 28-year-old theater, expanding the theater’s campus in August 2019 with the three-story Center for New Work, Education and Design. Dias launched Two River’s first literary department and commissioning program; during his tenure Two River has produced 15 world premieres (including Hurricane Diane by Playwright-in-Residence Madeleine George, which enjoyed an Obie Award-winning Off-Broadway run, and Be More Chill by Joe Iconis and Joe Tracz, the theater’s first Broadway and London production) and developed numerous other plays and musicals. He has spearheaded new initiatives for the theater including the Crossing Borders (Cruzando Fronteras) summer festival of plays and music by Latine artists; an annual musical theater cabaret in partnership with New York University’s Graduate Musical Theatre Writing program; a commitment to producing all ten plays in August Wilson’s “American Century Cycle;” and the popular education program “A Little Shakespeare,” which introduces the works of Shakespeare to hundreds of young people each year. Under his leadership, Two River serves thousands of students and community members each season through arts and humanities programs at the theater, in schools, and throughout Monmouth County. He is the co-author and was the director of Two River’s musical The Ballad of Little Jo, which he wrote with composer Mike Reid and lyricist Sarah Schlesinger. Throughout his career, John has been a leading advocate for bold new American plays and stimulating productions of the classics, including the Broadway productions of Lisa Kron’s Well and Shakespeare’s The Tempest. For 12 seasons, he worked in a variety of capacities at The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and he co-founded Affinity Company Theater and The Playwrights Realm. John is an Associate Professor at Columbia University. He has been a Tony Award nominator, a consultant for the National Endowment for the Arts and numerous other organizations, and he has taught at New York University and Yale University. John received his BA from George Washington University and his MFA from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.