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David Schmitz.

David Schmitz Named Interim Managing Director of Stages Houston

Among his duties will be to help position the theatre for a full leadership turnover, including of retiring artistic director Kenn McLaughlin.

HOUSTON: Stages has announce the appointment of David Schmitz as the theatre’s interim managing director, following the depature of managing director Kate Maltais, who has taken a job with 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle. Schmitz, the principal executive for Amplify Leadership Advisors, a consulting firm focused on providing interim executive director services, among others, to guide arts organizations through change, previously served as executive director of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) and worked at the Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, where he served for 15 years in the roles of general manager, managing director, and then executive director. As Stages’ interim managing director, Schmitz will work closely with the board, staff, and community to position Stages for future success as the company transitions to new artistic and management leadership in the next year.

“We are thrilled to have David join us as our interim managing director,” said Kenn Mclaughlin, Stages’ artistic director, who announced his retirement earlier this year, in a statement. “His experience and expertise will be invaluable as we navigate this period of transition and growth. I look forward to working with him to advance Stages’ mission and goals as the company searches for its new executive leadership team.”

In a release, Stages characterized itself as part of “a growing trend in the American theatre as we seek purposeful thought leadership and transition management during a time of organizational change.” Planning is underway for a national search to identify Stages’ new artistic and managing directors. More details about the search will be announced at a later date.

Founded in 1978, Stages Houston strives to make plays and tell stories that invite audiences to live and love more boldly. The theatre works to strengthen the creative capacities of Houston theatre artists and technicians and to build equity, diversity, and inclusion in the Houston theatre community. As of 2022, the theatre had a budget of approximately $5.9 million.

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