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Lance Gardner. (Photo by Alain Mclaughlin)

Lance Gardner Named Artistic Director of Marin Theater Company

A Bay Area-based actor and producer, he succeeds Jasson Minadakis at the prestigious North Bay theatre.

MILL VALLEY, CALIF.: Following an extensive nationwide search, Marin Theatre Company (MTC) have named Lance Gardner, a Bay Area-based actor and producer, to be the new artistic director of the North Bay nonprofit. He succeeds Jasson Minadakis, who announced his departure last fall after 17 years in the job.

Said MTC managing director Meredith Suttles in a statement, “I am thrilled to extend a warm welcome to Lance at Marin Theatre Company and look forward to collaborating with him as we together guide this much-loved institution into its next phase.”

“Marin Theatre Company has already played such an important part in my career as an artist, and I’m
excited to lead the future of the organization with Meredith,” said Gardner in a statement. “I’m honored to have been chosen and eager to build trust and community in Mill Valley, Marin County, and around the San Francisco Bay Area.”

A familiar face in the San Francisco Bay Area theatre scene, Gardner is an actor and producer who was born and raised in the Bay Area. He has earned dozens of theatre credits over the last 20 years, including six mainstage shows and a school tour at Marin Theatre Company. He has also performed in multiple shows at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, California Shakespeare Theater, Magic Theatre, TheatreWorks, and more recently served as the president of the board of Aurora Theatre. He comes to Marin from KQED, where, as a live event producer, he helped launch KQED Live, a year-round, in-person and virtual events program where he crafted unique experiences marrying journalism, arts, and entertainment. Harnessing the power of public media, he created bespoke concerts, game shows, performances, food and dining events, interviews and more. His work has been featured on KQED TV and on the radio at KQED and KALW.

The artistic director search committee was led by Matthew Purdon, the president of MTC’s board of directors. The committee engaged Tom O’Connor Consulting Group.

Founded in 1966, Marin Theatre Company is the leading professional theatre in the North Bay, and is committed to the development and production of new plays by the nation’s diverse emerging and established playwrights. MTC’s numerous education programs serve more than 4,500 students from over 40 Bay Area schools each year. As of 2021, the theatre’s budget was approximately $2.1 million.

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