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Liam Kaas-Lentz Named Managing Director Of Portland Center Stage

Liam Kaas-Lentz joins Artistic Director Marissa Wolf to lead Portland's largest theater company.

Liam Kaas-Lentz Named Managing Director Of Portland Center Stage

Portland Center Stage's Board of Directors has named Liam Kaas-Lentz as the new managing director of Portland Center Stage, joining Artistic Director Marissa Wolf in leading Portland's largest theater company and one of the top regional theater companies in the country.

Kaas-Lentz has worked for Portland Center Stage in various roles for nearly a decade. He took on the role of interim managing director in March of 2022, shepherding the company through the continued challenges of the pandemic landscape. Prior to that, Kaas-Lentz served in increased levels of leadership for the company, most recently as general manager, along with director of production and production manager, among others.

"It's a joy to sojourn forward together with Liam Kaas-Lentz as a co-executive leader at PCS," said Artistic Director Marissa Wolf. "We've worked closely together in bringing to life exhilarating theater on stage over the past four years, and most recently, his vision and leadership have been instrumental in navigating PCS through the complexity of the pandemic recovery period, toward the company's sustainable and thriving future."

PCS Board Chair Jennifer Lanier, a celebrated local artist and the co-artistic director of Portland's Original Practice Shakespeare Festival, said of the appointment, "I have known Liam for a number of years, and I am so delighted that he is the new managing director for Portland Center Stage. Liam's financial acumen, integrity, and leadership will meld well with Marissa's artistic vision, innovation, and leadership. And his care for this community, along with his great sense of humor, is definitely needed in these difficult theatrical times. Together, Liam and Marissa will make these '20s roar!"

"I am thrilled that Liam has been named as the next managing director at PCS," said Cynthia Fuhrman, PCS's previous managing director. "I worked with Liam for years, and he was someone I consistently relied upon as a strategic thought partner. His deep knowledge of all that it takes to run a theater, coupled with his collaborative style and acumen with budgets, makes him an ideal managing leader at a time when the theater field is faced with so many complex challenges. I know that with Liam working alongside Marissa, PCS is well-positioned to be successful in its next chapter. I look forward to being in the audience and cheering them on."

"I'm honored to be named Portland Center Stage's new managing director," said Kaas-Lentz. "As we continue growing out of the COVID-19 closures, PCS is poised to emerge stronger than it's ever been, with its newly established mission to create transcendent theatrical experiences and community programs that break down the barriers separating people."

Kaas-Lentz continued, "I moved to Portland in 2003, and I have watched the city's arts scene flourish over the past two decades. Our theatrical landscape is the envy of so many cities across the country, and I'm proud that PCS is counted as one of the many celebrated organizations which serve as the foundation of the performing arts in the Northwest. Alongside the fabulous Marissa Wolf, I'm thrilled and ready to lead PCS through the next chapter of its storied history, building on an incredible foundation to introduce the power of theater to new audiences across the region."

Liam Kaas-Lentz is originally from Bellingham, Washington, and has worked in theater management in Portland for more than 20 years. Beyond his many roles at Portland Center Stage, he's also served as production manager for Portland Playhouse, Sojourn Theatre, Hand2Mouth Theatre, and Risk/Reward. He has stage managed for Artists Repertory Theatre, Portland Playhouse, Hand2Mouth Theatre, CoHo Productions, Teatro Milagro, Pixie Dust Productions, the Geva Theatre Center, PCPA, National Public Radio, and The Kitchen in New York City. Kaas-Lentz received his B.F.A. from Southern Oregon University and his M.Ed. from Portland State University, and he has taught theatrical management at Northwestern University, Georgetown University, Vanderbilt University, Whitman College, and Portland State University. He lives with his wife and cat in southeast Portland.

Portland Center Stage's mission is to create transcendent theatrical experiences and community programs that break down the barriers separating people. We support our community in celebrating the full scope of humanity, appreciating difference, and fostering belonging. PCS was established in 1988 as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and became independent in 1994. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Marissa Wolf and Managing Director Liam Kaas-Lentz, the company produces a mix of classic, contemporary, and world-premiere productions, along with a variety of high-quality education and community programs. As part of its dedication to new play development, the company has produced 28 world premieres, many of which were developed at its JAW New Play Festival. PCS's home is The Armory, a historic building originally constructed in 1891. After a major renovation, The Armory opened in 2006 as the first building on the National Register of Historic Places, the first performing arts venue in the country, and the first building in Portland to achieve a LEED Platinum rating.

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying and interrupting instances of racism and all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility (IDEA). Learn more at pcs.org/idea.



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