PROVIDENCE, R.I. and EAST HADDAM, CONN.: Michael Gennaro, executive director of Trinity Repertory Company, has announced that he will leave the Rhode Island theatre and move to Connecticut. He has accepted a position as executive director of Goodspeed Musicals in East Haddam, starting in February 2015.
“It is with mixed emotions that I announce I will be leaving Trinity Rep,” Gennaro said in a statement. “I have been lucky beyond words that Trinity and Providence have been home to my wife and me for the last eight years. During that time, I have been surrounded by a truly supportive and generous board, an extraordinary staff of talented and dedicated people, and one of the great acting companies in America. I am very proud of all that we accomplished together and I am confident Trinity’s path will remain steady and true.”
Gennaro joined Trinity Rep as executive director in 2007. During his time there, Gennaro managed the theatre’s $8 million budget, reduced the theatre’s debts and led an $18 million capital campaign. Additionally, Gennaro was a leading figure in the Rhode Island Coalition for the Arts and Preservation, which campaigned for a measure on the November midterm ballots supporting a $35 million investment in the state’s artistic, cultural and historic preservation organizations; the measure passed.
The Goodspeed appointment is the latest in a long line of large-budgeted theatres Gennaro has managed. He was also the executive director of Steppenwolf Theatre for eight years, and before that held leadership roles at the Pennsylvania Ballet, Ford’s Theatre and Paper Mill Playhouse.
“Departures are always emotional for everyone involved, and Michael’s departure from Trinity is no exception,” said Trinity Rep artistic director Curt Columbus in a statement. “It’s particularly bittersweet for me, since I’ve worked with him for nearly 20 years—first at Steppenwolf in Chicago, then here at Trinity Rep for nearly a decade. He is my colleague, my collaborator, my chief counsel, and my friend. The work that Michael has done here has been transformational to our theatre, and indeed, to the state of the arts in Rhode Island. Knowing him has also changed me in profound ways, and our partnership will continue to define me, and Trinity as a whole, for years to come.”