LOS ANGELES: Stephen D. Rountree will take over the role of managing director of Center Theatre Group, the company in charge of programming two venues at downtown L.A.’s Music Center, the Ahmanson Theatre and the Mark Taper Forum, and one venue in Culver City, the Kirk Douglas Theatre. He succeeds Edward Rada, who held the post for three years and will depart in December.
Rountree previously served as the president and CEO of LA’s Music Center for nearly 12 years, and concurrently held the position of CEO at the Los Angeles Opera from 2008 to 2012. He will begin his new job at CTG on Jan. 2, 2015. Rountree, 65, will work in close collaboration with CTG artistic director Michael Ritchie on all aspects of the institution, and supervise the management, financial, marketing, development, technology and human resources departments at CTG.
“This is a great choice, not only for Center Theatre Group, but for all of Los Angeles,” said Ritchie in a statement. “[Steve] has this wonderful ability to bring people together and to get the job done. He was instrumental in the opening of Walt Disney Concert Hall in 2003, in the major renovation of the Mark Taper Forum in 2008, and the opening of Grand Park in 2012.
“CTG is a vital artistic organization for the Music Center and for Los Angeles, a company with a rich history and a wonderful future ahead,” Rountree said in a statement, adding that he has “long been devoted to dramatic literature and the theatre.”
The Los Angeles Times reported that Rountree joins CTG as it faces six consecutive seasons in the red, but Rountree downplayed the theatre’s financial issues, telling the Times that while the organization “needs some financial fine-tuning,” his hiring doesn’t represent “a major turnaround, or heavy restructuring or downsizing.” He will, however, be taking a pay cut himself.