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Geva Theatre Center's Mark Cuddy Named New Producer of Cape Playhouse

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Richard B. Hawes, Jr., President of the Board of Trustees of the Cape Playhouse and Cape Cod Center for the Arts, today announced that veteran theatre leader, Mark Cuddy, will assume the newly-created position of Playhouse Producer and Chief Executive of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts. Mr. Cuddy has been the Artistic Director of the largest producing theatre in New York State outside of Manhattan, Rochester's Geva Theatre Center, for the past eighteen years. He will continue in that position as he begins with The Playhouse immediately. Mr. Cuddy has led theatres across the country for over thirty-three years, and serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the nation's service organization for the advancement of professional, not-for-profit theatres.

Board President Hawes described the hiring, "I am very excited to have an extremely talented professional who is recognized nationally, to lead The Playhouse into the future. Mr. Cuddy will build on 87 years of success at The Playhouse as he assumes Artistic Leadership of one of America's premier summer theaters."

Mr. Cuddy stated "It is an honor and a privilege to become the steward of this important and vibrant theatre - the Oldest Professional Summer Theater in America. From my childhood growing up in Boston and vacationing on Cape Cod, to apprenticing at the similar Falmouth Playhouse as a teenager, through my professional theater career across the country when Christina and I would take our two boys to the Cape and the Islands each summer, this is the perfect place for me. That is why we purchased a home in East Dennis in 2011, to be back here. I look forward to welcoming our resident and visitor community, as well as new and alumni artists and staff to The Playhouse for many years to come"

There will be a public event to meet Mr. Cuddy on Friday, November 8th at 11am. It will be held at the Cape Cinema, and all interested parties are welcome to attend.

Theatre professionals hailed the appointment. Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group remarked, "I've been fortunate to work with Mark Cuddy in his role as a member of the TCG Board of Directors for five years. I so appreciate his wisdom and his commitment, not only to Geva Theatre Center but to the theatre field at large. Personally, I've enjoyed the depth of Mark's wisdom, but I know that the Rochester community has been the real beneficiary of Mark's artistry and generosity of spirit. Now, the Cape Cod Center for the Arts will share in the tremendous value that Mark brings to the table."

Michael Maso, Managing Director of Boston's Huntington Theatre Company declared "Congratulations to the Cape Playhouse for nabbing Mark Cuddy! Mark is a native of our region, a lover and long-time vacationer on the Cape and, most importantly, a major player in the national theatre scene. His appointment is a great move by one of the Cape's most important cultural destinations."

Janine Perry, Producing Artistic Director of Cape Rep welcomed Cuddy, "I have had the privilege of working with Mark Cuddy and am excited to welcome him to the Cape Cod theater community. He is a professional, experienced, and successful Artistic Director and Producer with integrity and a passion for the arts. He believes in collaboration among theaters and the importance of building community connections. We are fortunate to have him as our colleague."

The contract of former Playhouse Artistic Director, Evans Haile, expired on September 4th. The current Executive Managing Director, Kathleen Fahle, will assist in the transition.

Mr. Cuddy expects the 2014 Summer Season to be announced in January. Subscriptions for the new season are now on sale online (capeplayhouse.com), by phone (877-385-3911) or at the Business Office located on the grounds of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts.

The non-profit Cape Playhouse was founded in 1927 by Californian Raymond Moore, who spent several summers in Provincetown painting scenery, writing plays and acting in local theatre. His vision, however, was to have a theatre of his own - a smart, sophisticated summer theatre, which would bring Broadway to Cape Cod. He purchased a 19th century former Unitarian Meeting House for $200, had it moved to 3 ½ acres of pasture land fronting the Old Kings Highway in Dennis, and converted it into a professional theatre. The Cape Playhouse has been kept true to its original structure - even the original pews still serve as seats. The opening performance on July 4, 1927 was The Guardsman, starring Basil Rathbone. Over the years, many big name stars from Broadway and the silver screen have acted there including Bette Davis (who first worked as an usher), Gregory Peck, Gertrude Lawrence, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, Paulette Goddard - it's no wonder the Cape Playhouse is known as "The Birthplace of the Stars. Many young aspiring performers spent their summers here. In 1956, a young student was given a small part in The Male Animal, starring Henry Fonda (his daughter, Jane)! Today, most of the stars still come from Broadway, but it seems that almost every well known star of stage, screen and TV has walked the stage of the Cape Playhouse.


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