Cape Fear Names Mary Catherine Burke Artistic Director

She succeeds Tom Quaintance at the helm of the North Carolina theatre.

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C.: Cape Fear Regional Theatre (CFRT) has named Mary Catherine Burke as its new artistic director. Burke will begin her new position on July 1. She will succeed Tom Quaintance, who left the theatre to join Virginia Stage Company as producing artistic director last fall.

Mary Catherine Burke

“We found in Mary Kate the unusual combination of a strong familiarity with the business side of theatre, a deep knowledge of best practices backstage, and diverse theatrical experience—both in smaller theatres and on Broadway,” said CRFT board president Jason Poole in a statement. “We believe Mary Kate will be a good fit for Fayetteville going forward as the arts continue to advance community and economic development.”

Burke, a graduate of Southern Methodist University, comes to CFRT with an extensive background in theatre direction and nonprofit work. She served as producing artistic director of Pennsylvania’s Millbrook Playhouse for three seasons before transitioning to New York Musical Theatre Festival as director of programming, where she headed the development of sensory-friendly performances. Most recently, Burke worked with Dede Harris Productions, a Tony Award-winning producing office.

“The Fayetteville community is so passionate about CFRT, and I am thrilled to join the team,” said Burke in a statement. “I look forward to continuing to create opportunities to foster the local and regional talent pool in North Carolina. I am particularly passionate about expanding the educational programming and introducing children to theatre. The tools children learn in the arts—from navigating group dynamics, to making creative choices, to problem solving—are all invaluable skills.”

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