Boston Ballet Officer Joins MRT

Boston Ballet major gifts officer Laura Frye, who previously served as Director of Development at Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) for three seasons, will return February 19 to steer the not-for-profit theatre's fundraising efforts, according to Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas.

"We're thrilled that Laura Frye is joining our team. Her extensive fundraising experience, commitment to the city of Lowell, and understanding of MRT's mission make her an outstanding choice to lead our development efforts," said Butkas. "Her leadership is another step in our strategic efforts to build an organization that supports our ambitious artistic vision of creating nationally-recognized new plays."

A resident of Lowell, Frye increased donations by 22% during her previous tenure at MRT. In 2015, she moved to the Boston Ballet, where she managed a portfolio of nearly $1 million. She has also worked as a fundraiser for the University of Massachusetts Lowell and the Boston Symphony Orchestra. A graduate with a Master's of Science in Arts Administration from Boston University, she served as an officer from 2015-18 on the board of the Lowell Cultural Council.

Frye said, "MRT has experienced tremendous growth under the leadership of Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas. I've had the pleasure of enjoying performances as an audience member, and I am thrilled to return to MRT as the Development Director. I look forward to working with our Board, staff, volunteers, patrons, and the community to grow MRT's mission and impact."

Frye will lead MRT's development and fundraising efforts, working closely with the Board of Trustees and senior staff to continue raising funds from individuals, foundations, corporate sponsors, and government agencies. With a budget of nearly $3 million, MRT's income is split between earned income and contributed income. Her appointment comes at a key time as the organization has grown its annual budget and is embarking on a new strategic plan, led by the Board of Trustees and executive leadership.

MERRIMACK REPERTORY THEATRE www.mrt.org

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) celebrates 40 years this season as the Merrimack Valley's professional theatre. With a steadfast commitment to contemporary voices and new plays, MRT produces seven works, including several world premieres, each season.

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Sean Daniels and Executive Director Bonnie J. Butkas, MRT strives to fulfill its mission "to share theatrical stories of human understanding that reflect and engage our community." The company guarantees that shows are accessible to audiences of all incomes; partners with businesses and non-profit groups to fully engage the community; and contributes to the economic vitality of Lowell by attracting diverse audiences from throughout the region.

Recent acclaimed productions include Daniels' own autobiographical play, The White Chip; I and You (Off-Broadway transfer) and Silent Sky by Lauren Gunderson, the most produced playwright in America; Women in Jeopardy by Wendy MacLeod (directed by Daniels); KNYUM by Cambodian playwright and actor Vichet Chum; and The Lion, singer-songwriter Benjamin Scheuer's award-winning musical memoir (also directed by Daniels), which launched its national tour from MRT in August 2015, following critically acclaimed runs in New York and London.

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