Brandt Blocker To Take On Dual Management Roles At Atlanta Lyric Theater

Solomon Group announced today that it has hired native New Orleanian Brandt Blocker to fulfill dual management roles: director of operations of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre and artistic director and general manager of Atlanta Lyric Theatre, a position that falls under an innovative management contract Solomon Group recently signed with Atlanta Lyric Theatre. Blocker has held the position in Atlanta since May 2007.

"Brandt has a terrific track record as a director, fundraiser and manager," said Gary Solomon, Jr., president of Solomon Group. "Both institutions are very fortunate to have a professional of his drive, creativity and caliber at the helm. We feel confident that now two prestigious musical theater organizations will benefit from his expertise"

Prior to his post at Atlanta Lyric, Blocker had a solid base of achievements in New Orleans. He was producing director of his own full-scale Production Company, Brandt Blocker Presents, LLC. In a previous stint at Le Petit, he spent a year a as director of development and marketing. He also has been stage and musical director for many of the 94-year old theater's main stage musicals and children's shows. And his career includes numerous local, regional and national credits, including five Big Easy Entertainment Awards and numerous recognitions for work at The Jefferson Performing Arts Society and The Rivertown Repertory Theatre.

At Atlanta Lyric, he has increased the organization's subscriber base by 300 percent, secured and moved the theatre into its current home at the newly renovated Earl Smith Strand Theatre, and spearheaded a full-scale development campaign for capital upgrades and naming rights to The Strand.

"In today's economic climate, arts organizations must find the most cost effective ways to provide high quality experiences to their communities. This arrangement enables Atlanta Lyric to continue to benefit from the remarkable leadership and vision Brandt has demonstrated over the last three seasons and to access the broader capabilities of the Solomon Group. It also opens the door to long-term collaboration between the Lyric and Le Petit, both leading regional musical theater companies," Said Steven Hauser, chairman of Atlanta Lyric Theatre's board of directors.

At Le Petit, Blocker will oversee day-to-day management of the theater. Blocker will continue to oversee the day-to-day artistic and management decisions at Atlanta Lyric, as well as serve as stage director and conductor of the Atlanta Lyric Orchestra.

"When Gary first approached me, it was to direct ‘White Christmas' at Le Petit," said Blocker. "I'm thrilled to bring my family back home to New Orleans, but I love the people and the work at Atlanta Lyric Theatre. I'm very grateful to both the Solomon Group and the board of directors at Atlanta Lyric for affording me the opportunity to take the next step professionally."

Atlanta Lyric Theatre
Atlanta Lyric Theatre, Atlanta's only local professional musical theatre company, was formed in 1980 as the Southeastern Savoyards, a repertory theatre company dedicated to presenting the works of Gilbert & Sullivan. As the company grew into a highly regarded regional musical theatre company, its repertoire expanded and its name changed to Atlanta Lyric Theatre. In August 2008, Atlanta Lyric Theatre announced its partnership with the Friends of the Strand, Inc. to relocate to the historic and newly renovated Strand Theatre located on the Square in Marietta, Georgia as the new performance home of Atlanta Lyric Theatre. In 2009, the Lyric received three prestigious Suzi Awards (Atlanta's version of the Tonys), including the Audience Choice Award for best overall theatrical season.

Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré
Currently in its 94th seaon, Le Petit Théâtre du Vieux Carré is the oldest continuously operating community-based theater in the nation. Resurrected by dedicated board members and new management in March, the reborn historic community theater offers new subscription benefits - including guaranteed reserved seating and flexible subscription options - and a slate of classic and contemporary productions.

Solomon Group
Solomon Group is a creative and technical production firm, dedicated to the art of storytelling to create memorable and effective audience experiences. Solomon Group provides design, management & production services to the live event, sports, theatre, and attraction markets. Recent projects include the creation of a signature live show, Let Freedom Swing, for the National World War II Museum, the general management of Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre, and technical production management of the Broadway bound musicAl White Noise. More at www.SolomonGroup.com

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