Virginia Rep Names Klaus Schuller As New Managing Director

Schuller boasts more than 20 years of experience managing the operations of complex, multi-venue and multi-disciplinary organizations.

By: Jul. 09, 2024
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Virginia Repertory Theatre, the largest professional theatre in Central Virginia with roots dating more than 70 years, has announced that Klaus Peter Schuller has been named its new Managing Director.

Schuller boasts more than 20 years of experience managing the operations of complex, multi-venue and multi-disciplinary organizations and has produced and presented live, touring and televised events that included collaborations with The Kennedy Center and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, among others.

Known as much for his collaborative nature as his creativity, he has worked on various projects with celebrities such as Martin Short, Eugene Levy, Tina Fey, Catherine O'Hara, Bob Martin and Dave Thomas. Schuller's tenure begins August 1, 2024.

"We are beyond thrilled to welcome Klaus to Richmond and honored to appoint him as our Managing Director," said Martha Quinn, chair of the Board of Directors of Virginia Repertory Theatre. "His experience and reputation for creating collaborative arts venues - sometimes from the ground up - and engaging the communities in which he's lived align perfectly with our vision for Virginia Rep."

Most recently, Schuller served as the executive director and producer for Randolph Entertainment, which presented Teatro ZinZanni and Cabaret ZaZou in partnership with Broadway in Chicago, from 2018-23. He led the planning, construction and launch of a unique new theater in a "forgotten" space that was rediscovered during a hotel renovation that revealed the original grand space inside the historic 1926 building in the Chicago Loop.

Schuller also served as executive director and producer for The Second City Canada from 2005-17, where he supervised the planning and construction of its Mercer Street home in Toronto and planned or led the construction of venues in Toronto, Cleveland and Las Vegas.

"Virginia Rep's exceptional reputation and the diversity and quality of its offerings immediately appealed to me," Schuller said. "I am humbled to have the opportunity to contribute to the incredible legacy the organization has built over the past 70-plus years and its impact on the arts community in Richmond, Central Virginia and beyond."

In addition to Schuller's appointment, Virginia Rep is returning to a co-equal executive leadership between managing director and artistic director.

Rick Hammerly, who previously served as Artistic Director of Programming, is the organization's new Artistic Director. Hammerly, who has enjoyed a brilliant career as an award-winning actor, director, filmmaker and arts manager for more than 30 years, joined Virginia Rep in 2022 and will lead its programming and serve as a key liaison with The National Theatre industry.

"Rick has made a tremendous impact on Virginia Rep since he arrived in 2022," Quinn said. "We believe that a dual leadership model of a co-equal Artistic Director and Managing Director is more effective for our organization and look forward to the partnership that Rick and Klaus will form."

Previously, Virginia Rep experimented with a leadership model that featured three artistic directors. Todd D. Norris remains Artistic Director for Education, now reporting to the Artistic Director, and Desirée Roots has left the organization as the Artistic Director for Community position has been dissolved. The work in the Richmond community overseen by Roots now will be led by Jessi Johnson Peterson, who fills a new role as Manager of Community, reporting to the Managing Director.

"We are grateful to Rick, Todd and Desirée for their leadership and professionalism over the past couple of years as we emerged from the pandemic and put our best foot forward as we returned to full programming," Quinn said. "We're indebted to Desirée for her passion for Virginia Rep and the many contributions she has made to the theatre over the years."



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