SARASOTA, FLA.: Asolo Repertory Theatre‘s producing artistic director and managing director will retire at the end of their current contracts in June 2023. Michael Donald Edwards and Linda DiGabriele were both given opportunities to renew their contracts, but decided it was the appropriate time to bring in new leadership. The Asolo Rep board of directors is organizing a search committee and will begin a national candidate search for both positions in the coming months.
“Since 2006 I have had the pleasure of working with Linda as my partner,” said Edwards in a statement. “Looking back at the incredible work we’ve done together, and the obstacles we have overcome, at the challenges we have embraced and the opportunities we have seized, we knew it was the right time to make our exit. We made a pact that we would leave together. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given by our board, staff and community, and the trust instilled in me to lead the artistic vision of this nationally recognized organization. Now it’s time for a new voice to take the lead and continue the incredible, exciting and necessary work of Asolo Repertory Theatre.”
Edwards will have served as Asolo’s producing artistic director for 18 years. He was previously the associate artistic director of Syracuse Stage and the artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. He is a Garland Award and Drama-Logue Award-winning director, with credits spanning the U.S. and Australia. He has directed more than 20 Asolo Rep. productions, most recently The Crucible.
“Asolo Rep has been part of my life since I was stage managing and overseeing our national touring companies,” added DiGabriele in a statement. “When I took on the managing director role in 1989, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to help bring so many exciting projects and collaborations to fruition. Working with Michael these last nearly two decades has been extraordinary. With our professional team and dedicated board, we have grown Asolo Rep’s stature as one of America’s leading regional theatres, with significant impact in our community and state. Now it’s time to entrust it to the next generation of leaders. It’s been a thrilling journey and I look forward to seeing what’s next for the company.”
DiGabriele’s retirement comes after a total of 50 years with the organization. She previously worked as an actor, director, and stage manager and was Asolo’s director of touring programs for 12 years, during which time she arranged 26 regional and national tours for the theatre’s mainstage and educational companies. She has served on various boards and advisory panels, including the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), the National Endowment for the Arts, the John F. Kennedy Center’s Theatre for Young Audiences, the Florida Professional Theatre Association, the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs, ASSITEJ/USA, the Florida Cultural Alliance, and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. DiGabriele has received the Florida Professional Theatre Association’s Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre and the Florida Theatre Conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Asolo Repertory Theatre bills itself is one of Florida’s largest professional theatres, offering 15 productions per season, with an assortment of newly commissioned plays, musicals, and reinterpreted contemporary and classical works.
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