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News Major Players Join Prima Theatre Board

Dr. Damaris Rau, Josh Nowak, and Thaddeus Lee received unanimous approval to join the governing body of Prima Theatre.

"Everything rises and falls on leadership" wrote author John Maxwell, and his statement rings especially true in this current historic time. With this in mind, Prima Theatre has announced new additions to the organization's Board of Directors.

Dr. Damaris Rau, Josh Nowak, and Thaddeus Lee received unanimous approval to join the governing body of Prima Theatre. "The importance of brave, wise, kind, and passionate leaders has perhaps never before been more clear in our lifetime" says Prima's Executive Artistic Producer, Mitch Nugent. "I'm honored that these individuals have chosen to serve, and excited to collaborate with such experienced leaders."

The three new members will join current members: Board President, Hunter Johnson (TONO Group), Vice President, Todd Bartos (Bartos Group), Treasurer Jerry Eckert (Eckert Group ), Michael Biggerstaff (Nxtbook Media), Mitch Nugent (Prima), Kathy Phillips (Primitives By Kathy), and Joe Wirbick (Sequinox).

Dr. Damaris Rau is Superintendent for the School District of Lancaster. She has been a transformative force for good in the lives of students and teachers within the district. Dr. Rau has overseen an extraordinary growth in college credit programs, massive reductions in student suspensions, provided new social and emotional support efforts for students, led the district in its focus on Equity, Inclusion & Excellence, and steered the district through the COVID-19 pandemic. She understands the value of the arts to inspire and invigorate a community. A patron since 2017, Damaris has personally experienced the excitement and impact of Prima Theatre, seeing its impact on the next generation.

Josh Nowak is Director of Sales & Marketing for the Lancaster Marriott at Penn Square & Lancaster County Convention Center. He is a Board Member of Lancaster City's Office of Promotion and an avid supporter of all things Downtown Lancaster. Prior to 2007, Josh worked at the Renaissance Philadelphia Hotel, where he served as director of sales and marketing for over four years. Nowak has been presented with numerous awards of achievement in the hospitality industry including 2006 Outstanding Sales Performer by CS Hotels.

Thaddeus Lee is Vice President of Customer Experience and PMO, Comcast's Beltway Region. He has been a leading member of the team behind the recently launched national program, Comcast RISE. Prior to his current role, Thaddeus was based in the San Francisco Bay Area, leading negotiations to provide access rights for over 5,000 new businesses. He currently sits on the board of both Messiah College and Children Deserve a Chance Foundation, and resides in Lancaster with his wife Joy and their two children, Thaddeus IV and Chloe Grace.

Prima Theatre is considered Lancaster's Off-Broadway style theatre, presenting fresh theatrical experiences such as bombastic and modern concerts, as well as contemporary musicals. After eight years as a nomadic organization, performing in over 15 venues, Prima found its home in 2018 on the the west side of Lancaster City with a blackbox theatre renovation now named Culliton Stage. The theatre at 941 Wheatland Avenue boasts luxury private and distanced table seating, free parking, and state-of-the-art technology.

Prima Theatre has hosted Broadway guest artists including Billy Porter, Stephen Schwartz, Alice Ripley, Adam Pascal, Shoshana Bean, and Jason Robert Brown. In 2020, Prima raised thousands of dollars in grocery gift cards for local theatre artists out-of-work due to the pandemic. Additionally, Prima orchestrated dozens of distanced home visits to quarantined patrons, as well as producing community parades and drive-in concerts featuring local stories of bravery related to COVID-19 and Black Lives Matters. As 2020 came to a conclusion, Prima made over 30 trolley-traveling visits throughout the region with contemporary carolers.

February 12, 2021 will be Prima's inaugural "Stage Brawl," an online fundraiser where local leaders perform songs & scenes in a lighthearted competition to become Champion of the Stage. Details at primatheatre.org/brawl. Also in 2021, Prima Theatre has four productions scheduled. Whether in the theatre, streaming in HD online, or as an outdoor event, each and every production is prepared for all potential eventualities. March 2021 brings "Sammy & Sinatra" to the stage, a concert celebrating the music of Sammy Davis Jr and Frank Sinatra, along with insights into these two crooners' experience with prejudice, pop culture, and politics. June 2021 ushers in "Queen/Journey", a celebratory concert of the well-known arena rock music. October 2021 welcomes "Soon," a new musical in collaboration with Broadway creator Nick Blaemire, offering a heartfelt and hilarious look at apocalyptic circumstances. December 2021 offers a premiere theatrical experience, "On The Naughty List," a laugh-out-loud look at the holidays in tandem with songs of the season. For tickets and more information, see primatheatre.org/2021.


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