Mike Potts to Step Down as Resident Musical Director of Williams Street Repertory

Mike Potts to Step Down as Resident Musical Director of Williams Street Repertory

Resident Musical Director Mike Potts has announced he is stepping down from his position with Williams Street Repertory after six years at Raue Center For The Arts.

Potts' resignation follows his decision to take his dueling pianos company, Felix and Fingers, nationwide. Over the last three months, Potts has spearheaded this period of transition, grooming newly appointed Resident Musical Director, Evan Swanson, to take on the position. Raue Center and WSRep would like to thank Potts for his many years of passion and dedication and wish him the best in his future endeavors.

"I am proud to have called Raue Center home over the past six years of working with WSRep. Helping to build this program from the ground has been a truly amazing experience," says Potts.

Potts served as the resident musical director of WSRep for six years and sixteen productions, beginning with "The Rocky Horror Show" in October 2011. In 2014, Potts earned a Broadway World Award for his work on WSRep's production of "Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street."

"WSRep is a member of TCG, the League of Chicago Theatres and is a proud union house - none of this would have been possible if it were not for Mike's tireless dedication," says Founding Artistic Director, Richard Kuranda. "I am sure that we will collaborate again."

Potts will be stepping down from his position to fully focus his efforts on his work as the founder and CEO of dueling pianos company Felix and Fingers. Founded in 2010, Felix and Fingers has served the greater Midwest and has continued to expand over seven seasons, performing across the U.S. and abroad. With more than 1,500 amazed customers, the seven figure income company has become the highest rated and highest awarded dueling pianos entertainment in the nation.

The Chicagoland-based company currently employs nine full-time performers locally, with additional satellite locations in New Orleans and Orlando. Founder and CEO, Potts, seeks to establish a national presence from coast to coast, with a goal of employing 100 performers across 10 cities and regions by 2025.

Potts will remain connected to Raue Center, as they have entered into a multi-year agreement to secure Felix and Fingers. The dueling pianos company will bring their high-energy, all-request, sing-along show to the theatre throughout the 2017-2018 season. The first two performances were sold out, and dueling pianos will return at 8 p.m. on September 14, 2017.

Potts will also continue to work with WSRep as consulting music director on the upcoming production of "Little Shop of Horrors." This new role will allow him to guide Swanson during this period of transition, while still dedicating the majority of his time to Felix and Fingers.

"Little Shop of Horrors" will mark Potts' sixteenth production with WSRep. The gleefully gruesome Broadway smash musical opens on October 6, 2017 at Raue Center and runs select dates through October 29, 2017.

"Though I regret having to step away from a family of artists I love dearly, it is with great pleasure that I welcome Evan to the position. I have every confidence that he will lift this program to the next level. I am excited for our evolving company and the amazing things in store for this community," says Potts. "Thank you all for your hard work throughout the years, thank you to the production team and congrats, Evan!"

Williams Street Repertory is a non-profit theatre company located in Crystal Lake, Ill. Over the past six years, WSR has built a reputation for artistic excellence as one of Illinois' leading producing theatres. WSR is dedicated to sustaining an artistic process of innovative and emotionally charged work, telling diverse stories and creating an in-house Production Company of well-respected artists. Since opening, WSR has presented more than 25 productions with a wide range of appeal, from Chicago premieres and international debuts to holiday favorites. In 2016, WSR entered into a contract with Actors' Equity Association, making WSR the only professional theatre company in McHenry County. WSR is dedicated to its mission of producing diverse and emotionally charged stories that deepen the cultural richness of our community and our region. WSR was made possible through support provided by Susen Håakansson Berg and James C. Berg, the City of Crystal Lake, ComEd, McHenry County Community Foundation and Epic Repertory Theater Company. For additional information, visit wsrep.org.

Raue Center is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to enriching the lives of all through the arts. For 16 years, they have provided quality programming - striving to make it pertinent, available and affordable to all. As a painstakingly restored, 1920s regional Showcase Theatre named for its benefactor-Lucile Raue-Raue Center has attracted the finest stars, Broadway shows, musicians and artists. Named on the League of Historic American Theatres, Raue Center is one of the finest examples of restored art and decor in the nation. The 750-seat theatre, located in historic downtown Crystal Lake, Ill., is a gathering place for our region's citizens and has become a true destination. For additional information, visit rauecenter.org, facebook.com/RaueCenter and twitter.com/RaueCenter.

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