FORT MYERS, FLA.: Florida Repertory Theatre has appointed founding company member Greg Longenhagen to be artistic director. He will assume the position and join the company’s board and staff on Oct. 15. This announcement comes months after the theatre’s last artistic director Robert Cacioppo was fired due to bullying and abuse allegations. Jason Parrish, who took over the role during Florida Rep’s transition, will be promoted to associate artistic director.
“The board of directors is very pleased to have Greg at the helm as our new artistic director,” said chairperson Marc Laviolette in a statement. “Greg believes in Florida Rep’s mission and has contributed to the theatre’s success over the past twenty seasons. We are confident he will continue to deliver the extremely high-quality productions that Florida Rep is known for.”
Longenhagen has been with the theatre for 21 seasons and has worked on 59 of their productions as actor, director, fight choreographer, and dialect coach. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Pittsburgh and he has worked onstage with Charlotte Repertory Theatre, Riverside Theatre, Arrow Rock Lyceum, Florida Stage, among others. He is currently an assistant professor of theatre at Florida Gulf Coast University and the president, owner, CEO, and senior creative director of Abbott Productions.
“My goal is to honor the amazing 20-year contributions by Robert Cacioppo and Carrie Lund while conforming to the mission statement approved by our board of directors,” Longenhagen said in a statement. “As artistic director, I will enhance the Rep’s traditions of excellence in entertaining, enlightening, and enriching our audiences. With the continued generous support of our donors and patrons, I will strive to advance our educational program for the youth of the community.”
Florida Rep has also promoted Jason Parrish to associate artistic director. Parrish, who is entered his 14th season with Florida Rep this summer, took over as interim artistic director while the months-long search for a new artistic director was conducted. He joined the staff in 2005 and became associate director in 2007. He has appeared in more than 30 productions with Florida Rep, including Cabaret, The Santaland Diaries, and 2014’s production of Arsenic and Old Lace. Since 2014, he has also overseen the company’s PlayLab Festival of new works and has directed numerous plays and musicals.
“It has been an honor to see Florida Rep through this period of transition,” Parrish said in a statement. “I look forward to working with Greg to enhance and strengthen the company’s mission and to nurturing its artistic growth into this next phase of development.”
Florida Repertory Theatre, founded in 1988, aims to provide its community with an array of ensemble-based theatre and to make the arts universally accessible.