Annapolis Shakespeare Company Appoints Managing Director and Announces Annual Fundraiser
Aug 12, 2015 01:31PM
● By Cate Reynolds
Lauren Levitt is a graduate from Baltimore School for the Arts and Theatre/Stage Management degree from Florida State University. After a year of working abroad in London, Lauren finally made her dream move to New York City where she has resided for the past 10 years. Her New York experience began at The Flea Theater as their Production Stage Manager, working also with the NY Fringe Festival as well as the NY Musical Theatre Festival. Lauren was hired as the Assistant General Manager at Off-Broadway's MCC Theater working with Artistic Directors Bernie Telsey, Robert LuPone and Will Cantler where she gained extensive knowledge of the business and financial areas of the theatre world. Levitt was Business Manager at 59E59 Theaters, a not-for-profit theater complex with three stages. For over four years Lauren worked with President and Artistic Director, Elysabeth Kleinhans, and Executive Producer, Peter Tear, as they presented nearly 50 shows per year. For the last two and a half years, Lauren has been the VP, Finance at The Araca Group - a renowned theatrical production and brand management company with operations around the globe. Headed by Partners Mike Rego, Matthew Rego and Hank Unger, Araca's clients include Wicked, The Book of Mormon, Jersey Boys, Britney Spears, Linkin Park, One Republic, and Her Universe, to name a few. Ready to head back to her roots, Lauren is excited to join Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Sally Boyett, at the Annapolis Shakespeare Company as they embark on, what is sure to be, an extraordinary journey!
Q&A with Lauren Levitt, Managing DirectorQ. Can you cite specific accomplishments from your previous theatre management experience that you are proud of, please?
For some years post college I was a Production Stage Manager which was extremely challenging but equally as rewarding. At times I had to coordinate schedules for up to 100 people and be the liaison between high profile directors, playwrights, designers, actors etc. To be dealing with so many people/personalities while keeping everyone happy was quite the accomplishment. My first job in the finance world of theatre was with MCC Theatre as the Assistant General Manager. After less than a year the General Manager left the company and I was able to "hold down the fort" and act as the temporary GM while they searched for the new full-time GM. When I started working at 59E59 Theaters they weren't really operating on a system of budgeting. By the time I left each department had a budget they were responsible for and were following it in order to better sustain the life of the theater.
Q. How would you define your role as ASC’s Managing Director?
My role is going to be very unique and all-encompassing. There is no task too big or small that won't, at some point, fall on my plate and I welcome the opportunity to take the responsibilities on. That being said, my primary focus will be to work on all things financial for ASC including but not limited to budgeting, contracts, and our upcoming capital campaign.
Q. What are your goals as ASC’s Managing Director?
First and foremost, my goal is to help Sally Boyett, Founder and Producing Artistic Director to attain her vision for ASC. This company has so much potential and will blossom. I want to see us in our own theatre by the start of 2017. As the Managing Director, I want to help lead this company to reach it's full potential.
Q. How do you intend to conduct community outreach in order to grow ASC’s donor list?
I will do everything and anything. There is no strategy unworthy of exploring. I'm anxious to, after many years away from "home", enjoy a homecoming in the Maryland community networking and building relationships in an effort to get the word out about ASC.
Q. Why should donors contribute to ASC’s mission?
With a mission to "produce bold, re-imagined, entertaining and accessible interpretations of classical and contemporary plays and musicals," ASC is one of a kind; especially in this area. ASC is a quickly growing company with big dreams that, I believe, with the help of donors and the community, are completely attainable. This is a chance for people to get involved in something creative and educational at the beginning and watch their investment come to life.
Q. Which tools do you have in your toolkit that will help ASC thrive and grow in the local theatre community?
My "toolkit" is definitely something I will be relying on greatly. It has taken me many years to create my kit and I look forward to these skills growing as I grow with ASC. I believe the skills that will help ASC thrive and grow would be my ability to think creatively outside the box, my experience with building budgets, and my interpersonal/networking capacity.
Q . Do you have a favorite Shakespeare quote?
From Hamlet, "This above all: to thine own self be true, And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man."
Brush Up Your Shakespeare: An Evening of Broadway Showstoppers and ASC BenefitSeptember 25, 2015 – Saturday September 26, 2015
$75-100; AnnapolisShakespeare.org // 410-280-1773
Join ASC’s Founding Artistic Director, Sally Boyett with the resident acting company and special guests in a special evening of Shakespeare-inspired Broadway song and dance. Cocktail hour at 7 p.m. to be followed by performance at 8 p.m. Plus, a silent auction to benefit Annapolis Shakespeare Company, a 501(c)3 nonprofit providing extensive educational outreach partnerships with local Performing and Visual Arts Programs and other public schools.