Penobscot Theatre Company Releases Leadership Update

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Penobscot Theatre Company Releases Leadership Update

The board of directors of Penobscot Theatre Company has announced that Artistic Director Bari Newport has been named producing artistic director, and Mary Budd, who had served as the theatre's interim managing director since February, has been named executive director.

"The change in titles reflects the board's acknowledgement of the exceptional job Bari Newport has done the past two and a half years, not only as an artistic leader but as a manager focused on the theatre's financial stability and growth," according to Cheryl Olson, board president. "At the same time, the title of executive director more accurately reflects the work Mary Budd will be doing, not only in fundraising and development, but in managing the business side of the organization." Both positions report directly to the board of directors.

Newport, who earned a master of fine arts degree from the University of Iowa, was artistic associate at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta before becoming artistic director at Penobscot Theatre Company in January 2012. She also held positions at Florida Repertory Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse, and was a recipient of the Theatre Communications Group New Generations Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke foundations.

Budd graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a bachelor's degree in history, and has been a freelance communications and publications consultant since 2007, with a nationwide clientele. Formerly, she was a staff writer and editor for New York-based Edison Schools, Inc., and earlier was publications director of a Boston-based education management company. She began her career as a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, and later worked for Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. Budd served on the Bangor School Committee from 2007 to 2010, and served on the theatre's board from 2011 to early 2014.

The board also announced the approval of five new directors for the board. They are Cynthia Bergin, branch manager for Camden National Bank in Brewer; Joel Farley, facilities and emergency preparedness administrator for Eastern Maine Medical Center; Adria LaRose, an attorney at Eaton Peabody; Coney Quinn, customer service manager and assistant vice president for People's United Bank; and Sharon Zolper, an English teacher at Hampden Academy.

They join current directors Olson, Fritz Oldenburg, vice president; Maria Kreilkamp, secretary; Maria Mason, treasurer; Kirsten Ismail, Jane Jennings, and Tom Palmer. Shaun Dowd and John Gregory will complete their terms on the board of directors in August.

Penobscot Theatre Company is the nation's northeastern-most professional theatre company, producing handcrafted works for audiences at the historic Bangor Opera House, 131 Main Street, Bangor.

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