Cynthia Fuhrman Named Managing Director at Portland Center Stage at The Armory
Artistic Director Chris Coleman announced today that Cynthia Fuhrman has been named Managing Director at Portland Center Stage at The Armory, the city's largest professional theater company.
Fuhrman, who has previously served as the company's Director of Marketing and Communications and, most recently, Chief Operating Officer, steps into the new role immediately.
As Managing Director, Fuhrman leads the teams responsible for the theater's operations, finance, human resources, patron services and marketing efforts, and works closely with Coleman and the Board of Trustees on the overall strategic direction for the company.
Celebrating its 30th anniversary season, Portland Center Stage has seen exceptional growth in the 10 years it has had its home in The Armory. Now producing 11 shows annually in two theaters from September to June, with an audience of over 120,000 patrons and extensive community and education programs, The Armory is one of the largest regional theaters in the U.S.
"We are very fortunate to have an experienced management team at The Armory - several of whom have been with the company for 15 years or more - and that has been essential in growing the theater to the scale and success we enjoy today," said Coleman. "As we look forward to the next stage of growth for our company, I felt it was important to move Cynthia to this new role to fully harness the strengths of our leadership team for our longer term vision for the theater. Her depth of experience in our business, and her community connections and relationships in our field nationally, position her well to serve as Managing Director at The Armory. I am excited to see what new opportunities may unfold as I work with Cynthia and our team to develop our next strategic plan."
After earning her M.A. in English, Fuhrman started her theater career at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in 1982, working in PR, marketing and education. When OSF agreed to open a branch theater in Portland in 1988, Fuhrman was among the OSF staff members who relocated to help open the new company, OSF Portland, which became Portland Center Stage when it spun off to an independent organization in 1994. Fuhrman remained with the company until 1998, leaving to become COO at the Portland/San Francisco-based digital marketing company, eyescream interactive. In 2003, she moved to Seattle to become the Director of Marketing and Communications at Seattle Repertory Theatre. She returned to Portland in 2007 as Director of Communications at the City of Portland's Office of Sustainable Development, but by the summer of 2008 had returned to Portland Center Stage as Director of Marketing and Communications. She became C.O.O. in 2014.
"In the 10 years I was away from PCS, the company had completely transformed under the leadership of Chris Coleman," said Fuhrman. "Not only had the budget nearly tripled in size to accommodate the expansion of the artistic, education and community programs of the theater, but the company had also acquired and renovated The Armory as its new home, doubling its annual audience in the first two years alone. We had dreamed of our own building back in the early days of PCS, but it always seemed impossible. It was truly exciting to return to Portland after five years in Seattle and see a company that had become a theater recognized nationally for innovation, artistry and community engagement, and one more firmly planted in the city's cultural landscape than any of us could have imagined back in 1988. I am so proud of this company's history, and of all of the people over the past 30 years - staff and board and volunteers and audience - who have brought us to this point. What an exciting time to be plotting for the next 30 years!"
Portland Center Stage at The Armory is the largest theater company in Portland and among the top 20 regional theaters in the country. Established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, the company became independent in 1994 and has been under the leadership of Artistic Director Chris Coleman since 2000. Around 150,000 visitors attend The Armory annually to enjoy a mix of classical, contemporary and world premiere productions, along with a variety of high quality education and community programs. 11 productions are offered each season, in addition to roughly 400 community events created - in partnership with 170+ local organizations and individuals - to serve the diverse populations in the city. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 23 world premieres and presents an annual new works festival, JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Home to two theaters, The Armory was the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, and the first performing arts venue, to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.