GREENSBORO, N.C.: Triad Stage has announced that founding managing director Rich Whittington will leave his position at the end of the 2018-19 season. Whittington, who has been with the company for two decades, will be succeeded by his long-standing partner, founding artistic director Preston Lane. Triad Stage’s board of trustees have decided to adopt a new operating model, and Lane will lead as producing artistic director.
“When I first met Rich at the Yale School of Drama I had been searching for an arts administrator who shared my belief in collaboration, community, and the creative process,” said Lane in a statement. “I instantly recognized that Rich was the business partner I had been searching for. From the Summer Cabaret at Yale to our national search for a home for our new theatre to the friendraising, fundraising, and renovations of an old Montgomery Ward store on Elm Street to 18 seasons of digging our roots deep in the Piedmont Triad and living by our core values, Rich has been my brother in arms. I am so deeply grateful for his leadership and vision and care in the continuing journey of Triad Stage.”
Whittington was an integral force in the primary development of Triad Stage in 1998. He and Lane sourced more than $5 million in donations from the community to buy an abandoned downtown department store for Triad Stage to call home. Over the span of his tenure, Whittington raised more than $22 million in donations for the company, supporting renovations and a production facility. He also aided in creating the Learning Department, which now facilitates 9,000 students per year.
“Founding Triad Stage with Preston and seeing it grow into one of the largest performing arts organizations in the region has been an honor and privilege,” said Whittington in a statement. “As we get closer to our approaching 20th Season, I think the time has come for a fresh management perspective to work with Preston and the board as we continue to take steps toward resilience and sustainability now and for the next 20 years to come.”
Triad Stage, founded in 2001, is a non-for-profit theatre company that produces mainstage productions each year in Greensboro, and an annual holiday event at its Winston-Salem location.