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What's Up Magazine

Steven Arnold, Cht Exec Director, to Leave

Jun 09, 2011 04:41PM ● By Anonymous

He has accepted the position of Executive and Artistic Director of Woodford Theatre in Versailles, Kentucky, beginning July 11.


Arnold came to Church Hill Theatre to lead the organization in April, 2007, from New York City. He was selected by CHT’s Search Committee from a large pool of multiple applicants from across the country. He brought with him a wealth of theatre administrative, directorial and acting experience, including experience in over 70 different productions throughout his previous 25 years. While here, he directed 2008’s Once on this Island, 2009’s Triumph of Love and 2010’s The Rocky Horror Show, The Eight: Reindeer Monologues and Jacob Marley’s Christmas Carol. Last October’s production of The Rocky Horror Show became one of the highest-attended shows in CHT history and it attracted many new theatre-goers and participants.

While on the Eastern Shore, Arnold brought much attention and appreciation for his own organization by immersing himself in, and becoming a resource to, the programming and efforts of other area arts organizations. His efforts included direct involvement in programming and support for CAPA, the Peake Players at Chesapeake College, Queen Anne’s County High School, Kent Island High School, the Queen Anne’s Arts Council and the Prince Theatre. At the Prince, he premiered three of his original works as entries in their Short Attention Span Theatre Festival, including 2008’s Epistemology, 2010’s HORSE and this month’s Off The Wall. His effort to connect with the arts community, share resources and build relationships between producing organizations has brought new collaborations and cooperation in ways that had not existed or was not well-defined in the past.

At Church Hill Theatre, he helped to develop professional procedures and improvements that have elevated both production standards and the patron experience. He also worked closely with Christian Rogers, owner/operator of RLK Marketing in Centreville, to create CHT’s current website while boosting the professional quality of CHT’s marketing and representative materials. “It has been a wonderful time for me on the Eastern Shore,” Arnold said. “Running Church Hill Theatre has been a very rewarding experience. I am grateful for the opportunity CHT gave me to come here and help them take big, necessary steps toward a more professional and positive experience for their actors, volunteers and patrons. The opportunity in Kentucky is too good to pass up, but parting ways with this beautiful area, and the thorough and universal appreciation and support for my work and contributions here, will be very difficult.”

Michael Whitehill, current CHT Board President, said on behalf of the entire CHT Board “we checked out his new post to be sure it was worthy of him and behold, it truly is a major and exciting step forward for his career. As it is with every weekly newspaper reporter, the next step is a daily, then one of higher to highest circulation.... so it is with Executive Producing Directors. You know the really good ones because they are driven to seek a toehold on the next rung.  He has done much to improve our infrastructure and our professionalism over his four years with us. He leaves us in a much better place.”

Arnold will stay with Church Hill Theatre until later in June as he assists in the process of identifying and organizing an interim administrative process.