It’s safe to say that both Open Stage of Harrisburg and Gamut Theatre Group are at pivotal moments in their respective histories.
Open Stage is embarking on its 30th season, and Gamut is in the process of moving into a new theatrical home. So, it seems fitting that both companies would expand their leadership, as well, and each has done this by promoting a long-time company member to associate artistic director.
Stuart Landon, the new associate artistic director at Open Stage, was promoted from marketing director, and Thomas Weaver, now associate artistic director at Gamut Theatre Group, was formerly the company’s director of development.
“There are some similarities to what I was doing before—I’m still director of development,” explained Weaver. “But, with us moving into a new facility and everyone on staff being stretched thin, I’m able to take the reins on some things.”
Landon finds himself in a similar position.
“I’m still responsible for the same things as well, but it’s interesting,” he said. “I’m part of conversations that I haven’t been a part of before.”
Landon and Weaver will also direct mainstage productions this year, a first for both. Landon will direct “Peter, Hook & the Darlings,” which opens Nov. 27, and Weaver will direct Anton Chekhov’s “The Seagull” next March.
“[Being the associate artistic director] is more admin stuff, plus a dash of art,” Landon said.
Both Open Stage and Gamut employ small staffs (six and eight, respectively), which include the companies’ founders. Landon and Weaver agree that the opportunity to learn from the founders has been a valuable one.
“I consider Don and Anne [Alsedek] mentors, and I can see why things have been the way they’ve been, why certain decisions have been made,” Landon explained. “In this new role, I look at it in a whole different way. I feel an increased sense of responsibility to the company as a whole.”
Weaver added that it’s important not to lose sight of the founders’ vision when dealing with the every day details of the job.
“I definitely consider Clark and Melissa [Nicholson] mentors as well, and I look at all they’ve done over the last 20 years, and it’s clear that the reason that everything has worked as well as it has is because they’ve really stuck to the mission of the organization,” he said. “I definitely feel a new kind of ownership of the mission now.”
Open Stage of Harrisburg is located at 223 Walnut St., Harrisburg, on the street level of the Walnut Street Parking Garage. Call 717-232-6736 or visit openstagehbg.com.
Gamut Theatre recently moved to 15 N. 4th St., Harrisburg from its longtime home in Strawberry Square. Call 717-238-4111 or visit gamuttheatre.org.
OCTOBER THEATRE EVENTS
at Harrisburg’s Professional Downtown Theatres
Oct. 1 to 31
GAMUT ON THE MOVE
Volunteer opportunities available
Tuesdays to Sundays at Gamut Theatre
Assist Gamut Theatre in the move to their new space. All skill levels needed.
For more information, contact Thomas@GamutTheatre.org.
Oct. 2 to 18
THE AMISH PROJECT
a drama by Jessica Dickey
Thursdays to Sundays
at Open Stage of Harrisburg with these special events:
Friday, Oct. 2: Opening Night with reception
Sunday, Oct. 11, 2pm: Matinee includes post-show discussion
Thursday, Oct. 15: Meet Donald Kraybill, author of “Amish Grace,” following 8pm performance
Thursday, Oct. 22: Thrifty Thursday with a limited number of $15 tickets sponsored by PSEA
Sunday Oct. 11
The NARNIA Project auditions
Join the OSHKids Performance Company at Open Stage Studio/School. Ages 8-13. Course runs until May 2016. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for appointment.