ROCHESTER, N.Y.: Geva Theatre Center has announced that Mark Cuddy will retire as the company’s artistic director after 27 years at the helm, effective July 2022. The company will form a search committee and an outside firm will be hired this summer to begin a national search for Cuddy’s successor. Trustee Faheem Masood will chair the search committee, which will include select trustees and executive director Chris Mannelli.
“It is hard to imagine Geva without Mark,” said Maggie Symington, chair of Geva’s board of trustees, in a statement. “However, he is leaving us in a strong position. We are confident we will find a qualified successor by the end of this year to help plan the following season. Mark has already begun working collaboratively with the board to ensure a seamless transition.”
Cuddy joined the company in September 1995 after leaving Sacramento Theatre Company. During his Geva tenure, he has directed more than 55 productions, and the company has premiered more than 25 plays and musicals and established nationally recognized education and literary programs. Cuddy’s last season will be Geva’s 49th, running January to July 2022, with the 50th season starting in September 2022.
“As we come out of this extraordinary pandemic shutdown, I’ve been thinking a lot about the next era at Geva and how best to position a new artistic director to lead that charge,” said Cuddy in a statement. “I knew that I’d be retiring soon, and it became clear to me that it made sense to mark the milestone of our 50th Anniversary not just by celebrating our first half century, but by inaugurating a new leader into a new artistic tenure. The time to plan the transition is now, and I look forward to supporting the next era of Geva wholeheartedly.”
Cuddy’s professional career spans 50 years, including working at Falmouth Playhouse on Cape Cod as a technical apprentice at 16 years old. Born and raised in Boston, Cuddy received his B.A. from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
“I have been so fortunate to partner with Mark for the last five years, especially through this past year, with all of its challenges,” said Mannelli in a statement. “He is a remarkable leader who has cared for this organization for so long, always striving to ensure that Geva enjoys a prosperous future. I am thrilled that together we will soon be opening the theatre’s doors once again.”
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