TUCSON and PHOENIX, ARIZ.: Arizona Theatre Company (ATC) has announced that managing director Billy Russo will not renew his contract at the end of the fiscal year. Geri Wright will serve as ATC’s new managing director designee beginning Jan. 6, 2020, and will transition fully into the role as of July 1.
“As Arizona Theatre Company moves to the next stage of our growth and reach, Geri brings tremendous leadership and business experience,” said Susan Segal, chair of the ATC Board of Trustees, in a statement. “Billy Russo has been instrumental in preparing ATC to move to the next phase both foundationally and financially. His significant experience and leadership in the industry was critical in guiding us through a very difficult time, and has been a great benefit to the now stabilized organization during the last four years. We are grateful and wish him continued success.”
In 2015, Russo served as acting managing director of ATC before becoming managing director in 2017. During his tenure, Russo saw the company through financial troubles and two artistic director turnovers.
“My time at Arizona Theatre Company has been a mixture of challenges, thrills, and triumphs, sometimes all in one day,” said Russo in a statement. “I am grateful for the opportunity and extremely proud of our accomplishments. The fierce commitment of the board of trustees, staff, and, most importantly, the audience and patrons whose belief in the power of theatre to foster joy and friendship gave us the confidence to be bold. I have felt much joy, and even more friendship from the extended ATC family.”
For her part, Wright served as senior director of development for ATC before joining ACT One Arizona in 2015 as executive director, then president and CEO. She also served as chief development officer for the American Red Cross Grand Canyon Chapter and the director of development at the Heard Museum.
“I’m honored to be a part of Arizona Theatre Company at such a monumental time,” Wright said in a statement. “The continued growth of our state theatre is so important artistically and economically to a vibrant Arizona.”