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|Education||Baylor University (BFA)|
Yale University (MFA)
|Awards||Producers Chair Award - Foundry Theatre (2006); The Josephine Abady Award - League of Professional Theatre Women (2012); TCG's Continuing Education Grant (2015); Congressional Award for Achievement in Excellence - Zara Aina (2016); The Baltimore Sun's 25 Women to Watch (2018)|
Stephanie Ybarra is an artistic producer with almost twenty years of experience at theaters of all sizes across the United States. She is currently the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage. In light of the current state of the world, she co-founded the Artists' Anti-Racism Coalition, a grassroots effort to help the Off-Broadway community dismantle systems of exclusion and oppression. Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Ybarra holds an undergraduate degree from Baylor University and an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
Ybarra grew up in San Antonio Texas, and identifies as multi-ethnic. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, in 1999. While at Baylor, she was a member of Zeta Tau Alpha sorority and was a part of the Theatre Student Society. In 2005, Ybarra began her MFA in Theatre Management at Yale University and completed her graduate degree in 2008. While at Yale, Ybarra served as the Associate Managing Director on the Yale School of Drama's 2008 production of Romeo and Juliet. She is also a former board member of the Yale Latino Alumni Association.
Her post-collegiate career began in 1999 when Ybarra began work at the Dallas Children's Theatre. After two years serving as the assistant development director and two years as the publications manager, Ybarra moved to Boston. In Boston, she served as the deputy director of program operations for Citizen Schools, a non-profit organization which offers academic enrichment opportunities to low-income and underserved communities. After two years at Citizen Schools, Ybarra began her master's degree at Yale and worked as the associate managing director of Yale School of Drama and new play development from 2007 to 2008. Ybarra also made her New York producing debut in 2007 with The Brothers Size by Tarrell McCraney at The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival. She then went on to work as the interim general manager at Two River Theatre Company and then the producing director at The Playwrights Realm, a nonprofit off-Broadway theater which supports new and emerging playwrights in developing their works. With The Playwirghts Realm, Ybarra produced early career playwrights including Anna Ziegler, Jen Silverman, and Gonzalo Rodriguez Risco. Some of Ybarra's other producing credits include the following: "Mentor Project" at Cherry Lane Theater, Finding Ways by Snehal Desai at HERE Arts Center, We Play for the Gods, by the 2010-2012 Lab at Women's Project Theatre, One Night With Rael, by Timothy Charles Brown at Ars Nova's A.N.T. Fest, Billy Witch by Greg Moss at Studio 42, "The HPRL Writers Group" at INTAR.
Stephanie Ybarra was the Director of Special Artistic Projects at the Public, where she began as an Artistic Associate in 2012. In that position, Ybarra led the Mobile Unit and Public Forum Programs, and was a member of the cabinet leadership team. The Mobile Unit is the branch of the Public Theater based on the notion that "culture belongs to all," which performs free Shakespeare plays across the five boroughs in prisons, homeless shelters, and community centers.
In 2018, Stephanie Ybarra was appointed as the Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage, in Baltimore, MD. She is the first Latinx theater artist to be named the Artistic Director of a LORT Theatre.
Ybarra is a self-described "creative producer." In her work, she seeks to find a delicate balance of creativity and business acumen, explaining that, in her opinion, producers ought to have a place in the room where creative processes and decisions are occurring. She speaks openly about the Producers' role in both facilitating and contributing to the artistic process and notes that in her 2012 production of We Play Gods, collaboration was essential to her ability to serve the artists working on the piece. Ybarra says that her artistic superpower is "being able to speak fluently in both the artistic and business vocabularies, and using the art and the commerce to make both thrive."
At the Public, Ybarra has focused her energies on "radical inclusivity"  with the Mobile Unit and, in 2017, has brought a Cuban-inspired version of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night to venues including New York City's Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center and Rikers Island Correction Facility.
Those who have worked with Ybarra describe her as a collaborator who brings a sense of humor to the theatrical process. Ybarra, whose theatrical roots are in acting, claims that she is still figuring out the relationship between her artistic interests and her organizational and leadership skills. She has a talent for facilitating artistic processes through a strong emphasis on collaboration and involvement in artistic conversations. Furthermore, in her work with the Mobile Unit, Ybarra works under the philosophy of "be[ing] humans together" which she uses to guide actors as they make art in spaces, including correctional facilities, which are actively working to oppress people.