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Carpe Diem Productions Announces New Leadership Under New Name 'Carpe Diem Theater'

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The company will be led by two founding counselors, Alexandra van den Heever and Brady Walsh.

Carpe Diem Productions  Announces New Leadership Under New Name  'Carpe Diem Theater'

Ahead of the organization's 10th Anniversary Season, Joe Shaver, Carpe Diem Productions Founder and Owner, announced today the sale of the musical theater summer camp to two founding counselors, Alexandra van den Heever and Brady Walsh, who will steer the company into the next decade of theater making under the new name, Carpe Diem Theater.

Van den Heever, who worked as Carpe Diem's Choreographer from 2011-2014, will lead the new Carpe Diem Theater as Co-Owner and Executive Director with Walsh, who worked as Music Director from 2011-2014, serving as Co-Owner and Artistic Director. The pair brings with them the professional networks they have developed since leaving their posts as counselors. Shaver will continue to serve as Advisor to Carpe Diem Theater for the 2021 Season.

"To come back to this special program, bringing the skills I've learned in my professional career thus far, feels like one of life's rare, beautiful, full-circle moments," said van den Heever. "Brady and I were lucky to have a hand in laying the foundation of this camp and are honored to be chosen to lead Carpe Diem into the future."

"We're excited about returning to the tradition of Carpe Diem with new perspectives, resources, and a broader understanding of the many paths one can follow to pursue their passion for the arts. We hope to expand our offerings, to support whatever path our campers choose, with exposure to high-level professionals in a variety of disciplines," said Walsh.

"We want to thank Joe Shaver, who has been an exemplary mentor to us both, and will continue to work with him to ensure a smooth leadership transition as we plan for 2021, our 10th anniversary season," added van den Heever and Walsh. "We will be closely monitoring the developments of the COVID-19 pandemic and will follow all health and safety guidance and adjust accordingly as to the possibilities for us to gather in person next summer."

"It's been hard for me to figure out how to improve something that has surpassed every dream we ever thought we could reach," said Joe Shaver. "But I am confident that this development will enhance the Carpe Diem program and am grateful to have these two talented and bright young minds carry on the spirit and tradition that they helped to create nearly 10 years ago. Together we will move this much loved and important program into a bright and exciting future."

The new leadership team will not immediately introduce significant changes to the program, but will instead begin by bolstering its foundations. In the long term, the duo will call on their combined expertise in arts education and administration to refine existing programming and create more learning and performing opportunities for children outside of the usual summer program.

The announcement of the new name coincides with a rebranding of the organization's website and social pages that reflect the possibilities of Carpe Diem Theater in the years to come.

Van den Heever and Walsh wish to also thank Johnna Bernard, Beth McGuirk, Matthew Troillett, Gwen van den Heever, Henry van den Heever, and Melissa Wegner for their work as professional consultants during this transition.

Carpe Diem began with a small group of 19 students and quickly became a beloved summer tradition. Enrollment has grown annually and recently surpassed 100 campers and staff members. Each summer's four-week program includes two main-stage productions complemented by multiple cabaret performances and a full slate of master classes for students in grades 1-9. Additionally, Carpe Diem offers staff member positions for students who have completed grades 10-12, including Counselors in Training, Junior Counselors, and Senior Counselors.

Since 2011, Carpe Diem Theater has been inspiring and training the next generation of theater artists and enthusiasts through programs for audiences and students of all ages across the Capital District. Providing hands-on, collaborative learning opportunities each summer promises to empower children by presenting a full range of accessible, high-quality, programs in theater, music, dance, and arts leadership, as well as two fully staged main-stage productions at New York's historic 450-seat Round Lake Auditorium. To learn more about Carpe Diem Theater visit carpediemtheater.org.


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