Michael S. Rosenberg guides the Playhouse to higher heights

Michael S. Rosenberg was appointed managing director of La Jolla Playhouse in April 2009. During his first season, he worked in partnership with Artistic Director Christopher Ashley to produce three world premieres, including two Playhouse commissions and the musical “Bonnie & Clyde.”

He was also was instrumental in bringing two special engagements to the Playhouse: the international sensation “Aurelia’s Oratorio” and the Page to Stage workshop production of “John Leguizamo Diary of a Madman.”

Additionally, Rosenberg fostered the growth of the Playhouse’s Performance Outreach Program (POP) tour, achieving sold-out performances in local schools for the first time in Playhouse history. Previously, he was co-founder and executive director of Drama Dept., a New York nonprofit theater company, where he produced new works by the likes of Douglas Carter Beane, Warren Leight, Isaac Mizrahi, Paul Rudnick, and David and Amy Sedaris.

Rosenberg has been part of the producing teams for the Broadway productions of “Grey Gardens” and “American Buffalo,” and the current tour of “Little House on the Prairie.”

He is a member of The Broadway League and the Producers Guild of America.

What brought you to La Jolla?

La Jolla Playhouse brought me here. When Artistic Director Christopher Ashley (whom my wife and I have known for almost 20 years) and the board of trustees asked me to join the Playhouse family last year, we jumped at the chance.

What makes this area special to you?

There’s something very special about the adventurous, artistic, inquisitive, entrepreneurial, smart, yet laid-back people who live here.

If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in the area?

Parking spaces on the West Coast are so much narrower than the ones back East — I measured on my last trip to New Jersey. So, some Jersey-sized spaces would be really helpful.

Who or what inspires you?

Great artists.

If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?

Winston Churchill, Nigella Lawson, John Glenn, Eugene O’Neill, Martha Graham, Dr. Eugenie Clark, Stan Lee and Tom Landry.

Tell us about what you are reading.


Deadline Hollywood

, plus the script for the newly commissioned show we are touring to San Diego County schools this January, and scripts of potential shows for next season.

What is your most-prized possession?

My passport.

What do you do for fun?

We frequently visit the Museum of Contemporary Art or, as my 4-year-old son calls it, “the museum with the X.” We also spend an awful lot of time at the Birch Aquarium.

Describe your greatest accomplishment.

I am lucky to have been involved with the birth of a number of new pieces of theater that are now a part of the theatrical cannon. But truly, any time you are a part of bringing a new work of art to life, it’s a pretty great moment.

What is your motto or philosophy of life?

Onward and upward!