Harold G. Baldridge will retire this summer after 32 years as Executive Director of The Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre. The faculty, staff and Board of Directors gathered at the school on East 54th Street in New York City today to wish Baldridge well.
Board President Robert Fraina said, “During his more than three decades of tireless effort and dedication, Harold has firmly established himself as an important part of the school’s long, distinguished tradition and history.”
Mr. Baldridge will continue to be affiliated with the The Neighborhood Playhouse as an advisor and hold the title of Executive Director Emeritus.
Mr. Baldridge studied at the University of Alberta in his native Canada. He graduated from The Neighborhood Playhouse in 1960. He was artistic director of the Woodstock Playhouse, NY, where he worked with M. Edgar Rosenblum. He was artistic director of Theatre Calgary, a major regional theatre, and taught acting at the Banff Centre for the Arts before returning in 1981 to New York to accept the position of Director of The Neighborhood Playhouse. As a director and designer, Baldridge worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, as well as in regional theatres in the US and Canada.
When asked about his legacy, Baldridge said, “The Neighborhood Playhouse has been a revered and unique institution ever since its founding. I am proud to be a graduate of the school and to have contributed to the school's place in New York's theatre history.”
Baldridge is married to playwright Mary Humphrey Baldridge; they have two children and four grandchildren.
Since 1928 The Neighborhood Playhouse has been a unique training ground. Among the many actors, directors and theatre professionals who studied there are Robert Duvall, Diane Keaton, Elizabeth Ashley, Allison Janney, Sherie Rene Scott, Christopher Meloni andMary Steenburgen, director Sidney Pollack and entertainment executive Leslie Moonves. An older generation included Marion Seldes, Tony Randall and Eli Wallach. Mr. Baldridge’s successor as Executive Director will be announced soon and will be in place when the School’s 84th year begins in September.