Paul Whelihan

Producing Artistic Director

Paul has been affiliated with Pushcart Players since 1982. Starting as an actor, he performed in four seasons, originating numerous characters in new productions for young learners. He went on to pursue other projects as an actor, director, and arts administrator, returning annually to Pushcart throughout the years to work as resident director. In 2016, Paul took the helm as producing artistic director.

He has been a producer for four decades in New Jersey’s professional theater circuit. While still an undergraduate at Montclair State University, he co-founded Ironbound Theatre in Newark, serving as Managing Director. He was the Development Director of Forum Theatre in Metuchen, and Audience Services Coordinator for Premier Stages at Kean University. In 2007, Whelihan co-founded Running Rabbit Theater, a company organized to instill a lifelong appreciation of and support for theater in young audiences and their families. Running Rabbit received unprecedented first-year funding from both the NJ State Council on the Arts and The Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation.

Whelihan is an actor, director, stage manager and playwright, creating nine plays for family audiences, including the ground-breaking Treasure Island, the first professional production of its kind in New Jersey wherein the entire cast used spoken word/song and American Sign Language to illuminate the story. His first play produced by Pushcart was 2017-18’s Velveteen Rabbit, which continues to be in the current Pushcart repertoire.

Paul has performed, directed and stage-managed off-Broadway (47th Street Theater, 59 East 59 Theatres, NY Fringe Festival, 54 Below) and regionally: Short North Stage (OH), Royal Poincianna Playhouse, Broward Center for the Arts, Quillo Arts Center (FL), The Company Theatre Group, Centenary Stage, Luna Stage Company, Bickford Theatre at Morris Museum, Forum Theatre, The Growing Stage, Dreamcatcher Rep [now Vivid Stage] (NJ) in musicals, dramas, original works and locally produced television, film and web series projects (featured in the web series, The Madness of Art).

Representative roles include Tevye in “Fiddler on the Roof,” Mushnik in “Little Shop of Horrors” (Short North Stage), Marc in “Art,” Noah in “Two By Two,” MissTexas in “Pageant” (Quillo Arts Center) and Metternick, et al in “The Rothschilds.” As a teaching artist, Paul has directed productions for Franklin Middle School (Somerset), Rockaway Valley School (Boonton), MLK School # 6 (Passaic), and Breezy Point Summer Theatre Program (NY).  @paulwhelihan