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EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM THEATRE COMPANY

PRESS RELEASE - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DATE: December 15, 2010

CONTACT:  Dan Berube, berube@merrimackrep.org        

PR CONTACT PHONE:  978.654.7595                            

BOX OFFICE:  978.654.4MRT (4678)

 

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES DEPARTURE FROM THEATRE COMPANY 

Merrimack Repertory Theatre to Ensure

Smooth Transition of Institutional Leadership

 

Lowell, MA – Merrimack Repertory Theatre’s Board of Trustees announced today that Executive Director Tom Parrish will be leaving his position to become the new Executive Director of Geva Theatre Center, a LORT theatre in Rochester, New York.  MRT’s Board of Trustees has launched transition planning and a search process to identify a new managing partner to join Artistic Director Charles Towers and ensure a smooth transition of business leadership as MRT continues its 32nd season of producing first-rate professional theatre.  Past MRT President Robert McDonald, a member of the Board of Trustees for 29 years, will lead the Search Committee, which will engage the services of a national executive search firm to assist in the search.  Parrish will remain at MRT through the end of February 2011.  Towers continues his role as the artistic leader of MRT, a position he has held since 2001. 

 

“While no one is surprised that Tom’s phenomenal work here has been noticed in the national theatre community, we are saddened to see his tenure end,” said Debra Grossman, President of MRT’s Board of Trustees.  “We are glad for Tom personally and professionally, as he will be taking the helm of a non-profit theatre that is geographically near his family and has a significantly larger budget.  We believe he will be just as successful there as he has been at MRT.  MRT remains in great shape, and we are in the midst of a fantastic season of top-notch theatre.  We are thrilled to have had Charles’ artistic direction for the past ten years and fully anticipate great works to come from him as our Artistic Director in the future.  We are confident we can accomplish that with a vibrant partnership between Charles and our new Executive Director and will take our artistically acclaimed regional theatre toward continued artistic growth and excellence.”

 

“Tom Parrish has, unquestionably, been the finest Executive Director in the history of MRT,” said Board Chair Nancy Donahue.  “For the five years of his tenure he has had budgets which ended in the black and brought financial stability to the theatre.  He has also endeared himself to the community, and he will be sorely missed by many people.  We are happy for him and wish him well, but are very sad to see him leave.”

 

 

Artistic Director Charles Towers added, “Tom is a skilled manager and has been a great partner for the past five seasons.  He has a long career ahead of him, and I think this clearly shows the national-level talent MRT is so fortunate to have on-stage, back-stage and in the office.  Creating artistic work of excellence remains MRT’s mission, but Tom has made the institution that supports the artists markedly stronger.  The important contribution he has made to this company will always be valued.”  

 

“It has been an honor and a privilege to co-lead MRT these past five seasons,” said Parrish.  “This was not an easy decision, but for both personal and professional reasons, it was simply an opportunity I could not refuse.  It gave me great encouragement to know that MRT is in a strong position both artistically and financially to make this change.  MRT is strong not because of any one person, but because we all – artists, Board, staff, volunteers, donors and audience members – have worked collectively and collaboratively to take MRT to the next level.  I have enjoyed my partnership with the Board of Trustees and Charles, and deeply value the opportunity to have been a part of this amazing organization and community.  I will miss the many friends I have made here.  The fact that I have been recruited to lead one of the country’s largest theatres is a true testament to MRT’s great accomplishments.  I have confidence MRT will seize this opportunity to rise to even higher heights of achievement, especially with the Board and Charles’ continued leadership.” 

 

Parrish is in the middle of his fifth season as Executive Director of MRT.  Since he joined Artistic Director Charles Towers in the leadership of MRT in 2006, MRT has eliminated its accumulated deficit, reversed a decline in subscription audience, grown and diversified contributed revenue, established an endowment, transferred a production Off-Broadway, built the company’s local and national reputation, and weathered a challenging economy, all while operating in the black each season.  During that time, MRT’s artistic work has also received 27 award nominations from the Independent Reviewers of New England with 8 wins, including best production by a large company; four Elliot Norton Award nominations with one win; an Edgerton Foundation New American Plays Award; and designation as “Best Live Theatre of the North Shore” by North Shore Magazine in 2009.

 

All inquiries regarding this release should be made to Board President Debra Grossman at her office at 978.256.2660.