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Entrances & exits.

On the heels of its successful debt relief campaign, Seattle's Empty Space Theatre has named Melanie Matthews its new managing director. Matthews holds an MBA from Colorado State University and a B.A. from the University of Bristol, England, and has worked in the arts for more than 10 years at companies such as the U.K.'s Kneehigh Theatre and Malvern Theatres, and at the Colorado Council on the Arts.

Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre of Pennsylvania will lose its managing director, Stephanie Riso, in January as she departs to pursue a career as a performer and composer. Riso co-founded the theatre in 1996 with artistic director Andrew Paul after graduating from Carnegie Mellon University. Gregory Kandel of Management Consultants for the Arts, in Connecticut, will lead a search for a new managing director.

Also losing a managing director is Curious Theatre Company of Denver, Colo. Sara Rutstein, who has served as the company's managing director for two years, leaves to pursue other artistic leadership opportunities. The rapidly growing Curious Theatre, which added seven new positions under Rutstein's management, will split the managing director responsibilities between two new full-time positions: a development director and an associate producer.

Michael Stotts will leave Long Wharf Theatre, in New Haven, Conn., in December at the conclusion of his contract. He has served as managing director since January 2003, shortly after Gordon Edelstein became artistic director. Stotts previously spent three years as managing director for George Street Playhouse, in New Brunswick, N.J., and nine as the managing director for New Jersey Shakespeare Festival.

David Snider is the new producing director for the Young Playwrights Theater of Washington, D.C., a theatre that teaches playwriting and professionally produces students' work. Snider takes the helm from founding artistic director Karen Zacarias, who will stay on part time, and managing director Karen Evans, who is retiring. Snider was most recently the school programs manager of D.C.'s Shakespeare Theatre.


This will be the final season for Two River Theater Company artistic director Jonathan Fox, who will depart the Red Bank, N.J., theatre in June after 12 seasons with the company. Fox came on board at Two River's founding as the managing director, working with then artistic director Robert Rechnitz, who now serves as executive producer.

Carey Lawless, lately of Milwaukee Repertory Theater, joins Arena Stage as production manager, while longtime producer Guy Bergquist moves on to coordinate Arena's expansion project. Bergquist began at Arena Stage as production coordinator in 1982 and has worked with such companies as the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center and Hartford Ballet.

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation has selected Don Michael Randel to succeed president William G. Bowen, effective July 2006. Bowen has served as president since 1988 and will return to research and writing after his departure. Randel, a musicologist with bachelor's, master's and doctorate degrees from Princeton University, is currently the president of the University of Chicago, a post he has held since 2000. "The Mellon Foundation is unique among the major foundations in its commitment to the humanities and the arts and in bringing new technologies to their support," Randel said in a prepared release.


Arizona Commission on the Arts executive director Shelley Cohn will retire this month, having held that position since 1984 and been with the agency since 1976. Cohn has served on the boards of the Western States Arts Federation, National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, Association of Performing Arts Presenters, Grantmakers in the Arts and on review panels for the National Endowment for the Arts.

Sylvia Hillyard Pannell of Athens, Ga., Alexandra Bonds of Eugene, Ore., and Kim Williamson of Scottsdale, Ariz., have joined the leadership of USITT, the United States Institute for Theatre Technology. Pannell will serve one year as president-elect and assume the office of president in 2006. Bonds is the new vice president for international activities and Williamson is vice president for commissions. Both will serve two-year terms.

Gretchen Van Lente, former play editor of this magazine, was recently appointed president of UNIMA-USA, the North American center of Union Internationale de la Marionnette, an international organization for puppet theatre. Van Lente is the artistic director of New York City-based puppet company Drama of Works.

Last month Heidi Thompson left her position as managing director for the theatre at the University of Chicago to become the executive director of Barrel of Monkeys, a Chicago-based children's theatre and education program.
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Publication:American Theatre
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 2005
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