NCShakes and Festival Stage Fill New Executive Position
Following last month's announcement from NCShakes that for the first year in its history the company will not produce a Shakespeare play on the main stage, and as tickets go on sale for an exciting second season of NCShakes' affiliate, Festival Stage of Winston-Salem, the boards of trustees of both theater companies announce that they have established and filled a new executive director position to establish financial strength for both companies.
Wil Elder, of Nashville, Tenn., began work as president and CEO of both companies earlier this month. Elder brings to the two professional theater companies leadership expertise in fundraising and development with extensive experience in capital campaigns, major gifts, annual funds, corporate sponsorships, foundation grants and special events. Prior to his move to High Point, he served as vice president of development and marketing for Cheekwood Botanical Garden and Museum of Art in Nashville; as major gifts officer for McCallie School in Chattanooga; and as interim director of development for Lausanne Collegiate School in Memphis.
"I am deeply impressed by the rich history and stellar reputation the North Carolina Shakespeare Festival enjoys due to its commitment to staging world-class theater," says Elder. "When we consider its production history, its educational impact and, perhaps most important, its artistic quality, it's impossible not to marvel at all that has been accomplished. I am thrilled to be part of achieving a new golden age for this company by establishing a structured development program that will provide the sustainable resources to take NCShakes to the next level of excellence."
Regarding Festival Stage, he continues, "Festival Stage of Winston-Salem provides an exciting new opportunity for high-quality, and intimate, professional theater within the expanding arts community of Winston-Salem, and I look forward to helping to develop this thrilling new venture."
NCShakes Chair Beth Koonce adds, "Fundraising and development are so important to arts organizations in today's challenging climate. We are confident that Wil's skill and experience in these areas mean a very bright future for NCShakes."
Pedro Silva continues in the role of artistic and managing director for both companies, now with the ability to focus primarily on creative and artistic direction. Silva was a founding member of The North Carolina Shakespeare Festival's acting company in 1977. He continued acting through most of the company's early history and has directed several productions. He established what has become the company's outreach and education program.
NCShakes is conducting its third annual Camp Shakespeare program, and preparing for the spring 2012 tour of Shakespeare To Go, which will visit more than 65 schools statewide. NCShakes' much beloved production of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" returns to the High Point Theatre in December, including a special benefit performance with Silva as Ebenezer Scrooge.
Festival Stage of Winston-Salem launches its second, three-play season at the Hanesbrands Theatre in downtown Winston-Salem on Oct. 21 with a production of Joan Vail Thorne's off-Broadway comedy hit, "The Exact Center of the Universe."
For further information about NCShakes, call (336) 841-2273 or visit www.NCShakes.org. For further information about Festival Stage of Winston-Salem, call (336) 841-2273 or visit the website www.FestivalStage.org.
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