About Bari Newport

Bari Newport joined GableStage as producing artistic director in April 2021. She came to Miami from the Penobscot Theatre Company in Bangor, Maine, where she served as artistic director for nine seasons. Previously, she was artistic associate at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, artistic associate/literary manager at the Pasadena Playhouse, associate producer at Horizon Theatre and associate director of Florida Repertory Theatre.

As a producer, Newport has been responsible for the creation and stabilization of a wide range of artistic initiatives, including extensive work in new play development, education and community engagement.

While leading Penobscot—which serves 40,000 people each season—Newport doubled the budget in eight years, produced five world premieres, created a partnership with the Penobscot (Native American) Nation, with whom she developed two large-scale NEA-supported projects, and fully funded the company’s first endowment. She kept her entire staff of 15 employed during the pandemic and produced an innovative season that included 17 newly commissioned, digital projects.

Her work as a director and actor has been seen at Horizon Theatre Company, Greenbrier Valley Theatre, American Stage, Cumberland County Playhouse, Florida Repertory Theatre, Sacramento Theatre Company, Westport County Playhouse and the Williamstown Theatre Festival. 

Directing credits at Penobscot Theatre Company include Gaslight, Ripcord, The Graduate, Ugly Lies the Bone, Escanaba in da Moonlight, MiseryMurder for TwoDuck Hunter Shoots Angel, Doctor Cerberus, August: Osage County, End Days, Our Town, The Woman in Black, The Sugar Bean Sisters, Annie and Becky’s New Car

Newport holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Southern California, where her efforts created the Bill White Memorial Theatre Collection, the university’s first and only theatrical library. She received her Master of Fine Arts from the University of Iowa. Bari was a proud recipient of the Theatre Communications Group’s New Generations: Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke Foundations. She is a member of SDC and AEA.

-View Bari’s Video Message-


“Bari is a leader and a theatre artist to her very core.  As a director, her fierce intensity is inspiring. She questions everything – every motivation, every idea, every movement.  She challenges us to dig deeper, consider what the character wants, why they want it, why they need it and how can we best communicate it.  She gets to the gut of the play which leads us to the gut of our performance. As the Producing Artistic Director, Bari has fearlessly and tirelessly led this company to great heights.  She pushes and herself every day.  It’s been a wonderful gift to see our company and ourselves through her lens.  She has challenged us to dare, to dream and work hard and then a little bit harder.  She challenged our ideas of what this company could do, always asking for more. We have expanded our season, our audience and our vision of what we can achieve. We will miss her so very much but she’s leaving this company better, stronger and fierce.  As she says, “Onward!” ‘’

Jennifer Shepard
Executive Director
Penobscot Theatre Company

“Bari Newport is a stage director with a clear, refreshing perspective and a visionary artistic leader with a reputation for making bold, cutting-edge, and impactful theatre. I’ve known Bari as a colleague, fellow actor, director, and a friend for over fifteen years. She and I worked closely when I first came to Florida Rep, and it’s a joy to see her return to the state to lead GableStage into its next chapter. She will chart a course for the future that both embraces Joe Adler’s considerable legacy, but that cements her own as an artistic leader of consequence and vision in South Florida. It is an honor to welcome her back to Florida’s professional theatre community. I wish her nothing but the best and look forward to watching GableStage flourish under her leadership.”

Jason Parrish
AEA Actor/SDC Director, Associate Artistic Director
Florida Repertory Theatre

“Bari Newport is one of the most exciting theatrical minds I know.  She is an energizing and exciting artist, the rare visionary as skilled at management and institution building as she is at creating theatre.  Her work in Bangor has been grounded in commitment to the community, the highest artistic standards, and exquisite taste in projects.  She will explode into Miami with warmth, fervor and passion! ‘’ 

Celise Kalke
Managing Director
Synchronicity Theatre

“From the Alliance Theater in Atlanta to the Pasadena Playhouse on the west coast, to her leadership tenure at Penobscot in Maine, Bari has broad and varied experience and will bring her smart, committed, community focused leadership to GableStage. I’m excited for this important theater’s future under Bari’s expert guidance.”

Joseph Haj
Artistic Director,
Guthrie Theatre