ISSAQUAH, WASH.: Village Theatre, a company dedicated to producing musical theatre, has announced an artistic turnover, indeed a new model for the theatre, from a single to a dual leadership, with Adam Immerwahr, formerly of Washington, D.C.’s Theater J, as its next artistic director, and Laura Lee, formerly of Seattle’s ArtsWest, as the company’s first managing director. The news follows last year’s announcement of the planned retirement of executive producer Robb Hunt after 43 years, and a national search led by Village Theatre’s board of directors in conjunction with Management Consultants for the Arts. Both leaders begin their work with Village Theatre this month.
In a statement, board president Jill Klinge said, “The board of directors is thrilled to have Adam as our new artistic director. Along with his deep love of musical theatre, we were impressed with his ability to envision the classic musical theatre canon in new and innovative ways. This, combined with his passion for producing new works, made him a perfect fit for Village Theatre. The board is equally impressed with Laura and her experience in theatre administration, her strong marketing and financial management skills, and her knowledge of the Puget Sound’s performing arts community.”
Immerwahr, who led Theater J, the nation’s premier Jewish theatre, for the past six and a half years, and previously worked as associate artistic director at McCarter Theatre, said in a statement, “I am humbled and honored to be the next artistic director at Village Theatre. Musical theatre was how I fell in love with theater as an art form, and I’m thrilled to be returning to it. Over the past four decades, Village has become a leader in arts education, in the development of new musical theatre, and in creating productions that delight and enthrall its audiences; I know we will continue to build upon that incredible legacy.”
Lee, an arts administrator and advocate with over 30 years of nonprofit service, said in a statement, “I am so incredibly excited to be joining Adam Immerwahr, the Village Theatre board and staff, and the broader Village community at this pivotal moment in the history of this theatre. As a passionate lover of musical theatre, a believer that theatre needs new works to stay relevant, and as a mom and theatre administrator who knows the power of arts education, I am so honored to be joining this organization.
Founded in 1979, Village Theatre is a leading producer of musical theatre in the Pacific Northwest, and has supported the creation of more than 180 new works to date. As of 2020, the theatre’s budget was close to $10.6 million.
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