Seacoast Rep Expands Staff, Re-Establishes Resident Program

Seacoast Repertory Theatre is expanding. The historic local theatre has made new additions to its team as it gears up for an ambitious 2019 season of shows, now shared between the historic theatre on Bow street and the STAR Theatre in Kittery.

"There's a lot to get done," said Executive Director Kathleen Cavalaro. "Now that we're expanding programming across two stages we need to make sure we have the right people in place."

The first addition was a new Director of Education and Youth. Seacoast Rep opened a national search for someone to head up and inject excitement and enthusiasm into the program.

Enter Mia Iacovelli, experienced theater director, professional educator, stage manager, tour manager, and administrator that recently moved to New Hampshire. Most recently she had been the Director of Youth Education at Garrison Players.

"She hopped right in," said Interim Artistic Director Jamie Bradley. "We thought we would have a hard time casting our teen version of Newsies, but ended up with more auditioners than we knew what to do with. Things are on track to grow from 2017 and 2018."

Seacoast Rep also promoted Wesley Moore, a long-time stage hand and builder, to Facilities Manager to help keep the building in order.

"When we decided we needed to create a position like Facilities Manager, Wes was immediately interested," said Cavalaro. "He knows the building and the inventory probably better than anyone else, so it made a lot of sense."

Seacoast Rep also reclaimed a bit of its namesake and re-established a small repertory company, a company of resident performers, on a trial basis for 2019, selecting three performers who had appeared onstage regularly over the last few seasons - Alyssa Dumas, Andrea Lyons, and Jason Faria.

The three were selected to pilot the program because of their versatility and love for the Rep. In addition to performing, Lyons would work in the box office, behind the bar, and cleaning the theatre, while Dumas and Faria took choreography and stage management duties.

"They're undeniably special in their talents," says Brandon James, part of the Red Light Series curation team The Mad Men of Oopsie Daisy Inc. "We talk about picking them for this but really they picked us. They picked the theatre. They're the ones who stick around late and show up early, always asking 'what do you need?' They really changed how we work."

The good feeling, according to the new company members, is mutual.

""From the very first rehearsal of Avenue Q I've felt so good about myself and so challenged and so cared about as a person and artist," says Faria. "I never felt like I was just a summer stock person."

Faria and Dumas found a love of performance early in life. They met at Plymouth State College where they studied musical theater together. They've been inseparable ever since. Lyons found musical theater later, having studied and performed opera with Boston Conservatory. All three had some of their first professional roles at The Rep.

They never left.

"The art that we were making was so special that I didn't feel the need to go find that elsewhere," says Lyons on why she stayed with the Rep for three seasons. "I had to come up in a way I didn't have to before. They gave me a chance do all of the things where I was afraid I was going to fail."

To celebrate her company status, Lyons bought a ukulele and wrote her first original song.

Company status grants the trio secured spots in the Rep's season and a more steady paycheck, along with additional duties like teaching or administration, all to be reviewed annually. The idea, says Bradley, is to develop talent and blaze a path for success for a more robust repertory company in the future.

"It's about being an ambassador for the organization and an example to follow. These three are natural leaders with a lot of versatility."

The 2019 Season is still weeks away, but the members are already settling into their new positions.

"Everything is so open now," says Dumas. "It's the excitement of not knowing how it's going to go, but there's a really good feeling. Everything is already changing in such a good way."

There is more growth to come says Cavalaro. SRT is still looking to hire a permanent Technical Director, a camp director and counselors, and fresh faces for the season.

The Seacoast Repertory Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit theatre committed to providing a variety of programming for the community. The Rep presents professional programming through its Mainstage, alternative programming through its Red Light Series and also offers a variety of programs for youth and seniors. For more information, or to schedule an interview, please call Director of Marketing Brian Kelly at 603-785-2782 or at marketing@seacoastrep.org. For artistic questions please contact Interim Artistic Director Jamie Bradley at 603-498-8202 or at jamie@seacoastrep.org.

The Seacoast Repertory Theatre is a 501(c)3 non-profit theatre committed to providing a variety of programming for the community. The Rep presents professional programming through its Mainstage, alternative programming through its Red Light Series and also offers a variety of programs for youth and seniors. For more information, or to schedule an interview, please call Director of Marketing Brian Kelly at 603-785-2782 or at marketing@seacoastrep.org. For artistic questions please contact Interim Artistic Director Jamie Bradley at jamie@seacoastrep.org

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