209th Anniversary Season · America's Oldest · Founded 1809
Staff & Board
Bernard Havard

Bernard Havard

President and Producing Artistic Director

This season Bernard is celebrating his 34th anniversary since founding The Walnut Street Theatre Company. He came to America in 1977, recruited from the Citadel Theatre in Canada. After running the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta for six years, Bernard was approached to take over The Walnut, which at that time was a struggling rental facility. Bernard was familiar with The Walnut from its illustrious past, and persuaded the Board to establish a not-for-profit, self-producing regional theatre. He then built a subscription audience from zero to where it is today—56,000, the largest in the world. He is committed to a populist program and to producing musicals. Bernard is recognized as one of America's leading theatre producers. Under his leadership, The Walnut has gained international recognition as one of America's premier regional theatres. Bernard has spent his life in theatre as an actor, stage manager, director, managing director and producer. He has worked in England, Australia, and Canada and is very proud to be an American. Bernard comes from a leading family of theatre artists and sculptors in England and France. His ancestors include Louis Havard, palace sculptor for Kings Leopold of Belgium and George V of England, and Kate Rourke who created the role of "Candida" for George Bernard Shaw and was the first woman to smoke a cigarette on stage at Wyndham's in London. Bernard is grateful to his loving wife, Judy, and Brandon, their son. He dedicates this season to all the brave men and women who have served and continue to serve our country. Bernard thanks you—our subscribers, artists, staff, donors and trustees—for your loyalty and support, which have taken us to this height.