This season Bernard is celebrating his 40th 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 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. Some of his directorial credits at the Walnut include Noël Coward's Blithe Spirit, Oscar Wilde’s A Woman of No Importance, Stephen Karam’s The Humans, David Lindsay-Abaire’s Good People, Yasmina Reza’s God of Carnage and Art, Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me, Skylight, and A Life in the Theatre.
Bernard has also 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.