CAPE PLAYHOUSE ~ NEWS ROOM
November 5, 2013
Famed Cape Playhouse Announces Appointment of Mark Cuddy as Playhouse Producer
Will Continue as Artistic Director of Geva Theatre Center
Richard B. Hawes, Jr., President of the Board of Trustees of the Cape Playhouse and Cape Cod Center for the Arts, today announced that veteran theatre leader, Mark Cuddy, will assume the newly-created position of Playhouse Producer and Chief Executive of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts. Mr. Cuddy has been the Artistic Director of the largest producing theatre in New York State outside of Manhattan, Rochester’s Geva Theatre Center, for the past eighteen years. He will continue in that position as he begins with the Playhouse immediately. Mr. Cuddy has led theatres across the country for over thirty-three years, and serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group, the nation’s service organization for the advancement of professional, not-for-profit theatres.
Board President Hawes described the hiring, “I am very excited to have an extremely talented professional who is recognized nationally, to lead the Playhouse into the future. Mr. Cuddy will build on 87 years of success at the Playhouse as he assumes Artistic Leadership of one of America’s premier summer theaters.”
Mr. Cuddy stated “It is an honor and a privilege to become the steward of this important and vibrant theatre – the Oldest Professional Summer Theater in America. From my childhood growing up in Boston and vacationing on Cape Cod, to apprenticing at the similar Falmouth Playhouse as a teenager, through my professional theater career across the country when Christina and I would take our two boys to the Cape and the Islands each summer, this is the perfect place for me. That is why we purchased a home in East Dennis in 2011, to be back here. I look forward to welcoming our resident and visitor community, as well as new and alumni artists and staff to the Playhouse for many years to come”
There will be a public event to meet Mr. Cuddy on Friday, November 8th at 11am. It will be held at the Cape Cinema, and all interested parties are welcome to attend.
Theatre professionals hailed the appointment. Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group remarked, “I’ve been fortunate to work with Mark Cuddy in his role as a member of the TCG Board of Directors for five years. I so appreciate his wisdom and his commitment, not only to Geva Theatre Center but to the theatre field at large. Personally, I’ve enjoyed the depth of Mark’s wisdom, but I know that the Rochester community has been the real beneficiary of Mark’s artistry and generosity of spirit. Now, the Cape Cod Center for the Arts will share in the tremendous value that Mark brings to the table.”
Michael Maso, Managing Director of Boston’s Huntington Theatre Company declared “Congratulations to the Cape Playhouse for nabbing Mark Cuddy! Mark is a native of our region, a lover and long-time vacationer on the Cape and, most importantly, a major player in the national theatre scene. His appointment is a great move by one of the Cape’s most important cultural destinations.”
Janine Perry, Producing Artistic Director of Cape Rep welcomed Cuddy, “I have had the privilege of working with Mark Cuddy and am excited to welcome him to the Cape Cod theater community. He is a professional, experienced, and successful Artistic Director and Producer with integrity and a passion for the arts. He believes in collaboration among theaters and the importance of building community connections. We are fortunate to have him as our colleague.”
The contract of former Playhouse Artistic Director, Evans Haile, expired on September 4th. The current Executive Managing Director, Kathleen Fahle, will assist in the transition.
Mr. Cuddy expects the 2014 Summer Season to be announced in January. Subscriptions for the new season are now on sale online (capeplayhouse.com), by phone (877-385-3911) or at the Business Office located on the grounds of the Cape Cod Center for the Arts.
The non-profit Cape Playhouse was founded in 1927 by Californian Raymond Moore, who spent several summers in Provincetown painting scenery, writing plays and acting in local theatre. His vision, however, was to have a theatre of his own - a smart, sophisticated summer theatre, which would bring Broadway to Cape Cod. He purchased a 19th century former Unitarian Meeting House for $200, had it moved to 3 ½ acres of pasture land fronting the Old Kings Highway in Dennis, and converted it into a professional theatre. The Cape Playhouse has been kept true to its original structure - even the original pews still serve as seats. The opening performance on July 4, 1927 was The Guardsman, starring Basil Rathbone. Over the years, many big name stars from Broadway and the silver screen have acted there including Bette Davis (who first worked as an usher), Gregory Peck, Gertrude Lawrence, Lana Turner, Ginger Rogers, Humphrey Bogart, Tallulah Bankhead, Helen Hayes, Julie Harris, Paulette Goddard - it's no wonder the Cape Playhouse is known as "The Birthplace of the Stars. Many young aspiring performers spent their summers here. In 1956, a young student was given a small part in The Male Animal, starring Henry Fonda (his daughter, Jane)! Today, most of the stars still come from Broadway, but it seems that almost every well known star of stage, screen and TV has walked the stage of the Cape Playhouse.
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(Full Mark Cuddy bio)
MARK CUDDY is currently the Artistic Director and co-CEO of Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, New York – the largest producing theatre in New York State outside of Manhattan. He serves on the Board of Directors of Theatre Communications Group (TCG), the national service organization of the professional non-profit American Theatre with over 600 member theaters, as well as Vice President of the Board of the Rochester Fringe Festival. He has worked professionally in theater for thirty-seven years, including thirty-three years of successfully leading theatres across the country. In November, he will be the recipient of the Performing Artist of the Year Award from the Arts & Cultural Council of Greater Rochester.
Mark was born and raised in the Dorchester and Jamaica Plain sections of Boston. He graduated from Boston Latin School, where he was Chairman of the Senior Class Committee, and got his Bachelor of Arts in Theatre/Honors from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where he was a Commonwealth Scholar. At 14, Mark began his theater training at the famed Boston Children’s Theater under founding artistic director Adele Thane. He apprenticed at the Falmouth Playhouse when he was 16, working alongside stars Faye Dunaway, Rip Torn, Geraldine Page, Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Eli Wallach, and Sandy Dennis. Mark earned his first theater paycheck at 17, and has never stopped working since.
While attending college in Amherst, Mark decided not to pursue fame in New York City after graduation but to begin a career leading regional theatres, so in 1976 he started as the managing artistic director of City Studio Theatre in Northampton, MA. When he left in 1979, Mark had established City Studio Theatre as the resident theatre of Hampshire County, produced twenty-six plays and thirty cabarets, directed ten productions, and was the Creator/Producer of the First Festival of Contemporary Russian Emigre Visual and Performing Arts in America, which was featured on CBS Nightly News with Walter Cronkite.
To pursue his curiosity for living out west, Mark joined the inaugural staff of the Denver Center Theatre Company in 1979, the producing arm of the then new $80 million Denver Center for the Performing Arts. After a year as an assistant stage manager he was promoted to the directing staff, and at 27 became the youngest director in America working on a major regional stage with his direction and adaptation of The World of Sam Shepard.
His success in Denver led to his appointment in 1983 to the position of Artistic Director and CEO of the Idaho Shakespeare Festival in Boise – at that time the only professional theater in the State – producing in a 500-seat amphitheatre. Among his achievements over five years: Producing twenty-two productions including three commissioned world premieres; directing eleven plays including five by Shakespeare; increasing attendance 112%; increased contributed income 375%; increased earned income 390%; and leading a major expansion of the Board of Trustees to include all major corporations and financial institutions in the state. 1987 attendance was 18,000 ticket-buyers on a budget of $250,000.
In 1986, Mark was married to theater and visual artist Christina Selian. Their first son, Maximilian, was born in 1988 and their second son, Augustus, was born in 1995.
In 1988, Mark was appointed the Artistic Director and CEO of the Sacramento Theatre Company - the only professional resident theater in California’s capitol city – with venues of 300 and 90 seats. Among his achievements there over seven years: Producing sixty-five plays including twelve premieres; directing twenty-two plays including those by Moliere, Calderon, Shakespeare, Shaw, Miller, Friel and Fugard; increasing annual attendance 30%; increasing annual revenues 82%; increasing contributed income 45%; increasing earned income 74%. Mark was the recipient of the 1995 “Professional Artist of the Year” Award given by the California Educational Theatre Association for outstanding education and outreach. In his final year, 1994-95, the theater had a $1.6 million annual budget, annual attendance of 60,000, and was cited by the California Arts Council as "approaching model status" and given highest rating.
In 1995, Mark and Christina decided to move back east with their two young sons and he accepted the position of Artistic Director and co-CEO of Geva Theatre Center. At that time, Geva’s annual budget was $3.2 million and had its lowest attendance in over a decade. Over the next eighteen years, Mark has transformed Geva into a nationally recognized leader in regional theatre, and since 1998 has been the largest and most-attended producing theater in New York State outside of Manhattan. At Geva, the Wilson Mainstage seats 526, and in 2000 Mark built and opened the 180-seat Fielding Nextstage. Geva currently has annual attendance of 135,000 for its 13-15 productions, a $7 million annual budget, and 50 full-time employees. For being in the 51st most-populated metropolitan area in the country, Geva consistently has been in the top 25 regional theatres in attendance. He served as sole CEO from 2004 to 2011.
Among his many achievements in Rochester: producing over 150 productions including 22 world premiers; directing 35 plays and musicals including two premieres of his own adaptations; having 40,000 people annually participate in education programs including 16,000 students; and creating numerous community engagement programs to encourage ownership and conversation.
Mark has served on panels for the National Endowment of the Arts and the New York State Council on the Arts. Through Theatre Communications Group he has consulted with theaters across the country on issues ranging from season planning and audience development to capital campaigns.
In 2011, Mark and Christina purchased a home in East Dennis, less than three miles from the Cape Playhouse. They visit as often as possible, and plan to eventually live there year-round. Meanwhile, Christina teaches sewing and crafts to children in a growing Rochester business, Max received a Fulbright Scholarship to teach in South Africa for ten months before returning to participate in the Teach for America program in Philadelphia, and Gus is in the freshman acting program at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in New York City.
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September 12, 2013
AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
On behalf of the Board of Trustees of the Cape Playhouse, Richard B. Hawes, Jr., President, announced today that the Cape Playhouse has embarked on a national search for its next Artistic Director. Mr. Hawes said, “Last fall, when Evans Haile signed the contract for his final season, we began preparing for our new chapter. Mr. Haile has been at the artistic helm of our historic Playhouse since the 2000 season, and we thank him for his dedication.”
Mr. Hawes continued, “As the Cape Playhouse enters this period of transition, there is eagerness by all concerned to see the Playhouse continue to do what it does best – provide outstanding theatrical shows. The Cape Playhouse will continue to present high quality professional theater that has been its hallmark for 87 seasons.”
“We look forward to our 2014 season, building on a successful 2013 season that has received rave reviews. Please join us in wishing Evans well. We know that you, like us, are excited for our future,” Mr. Hawes concluded.
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STEVE BERRIEN AND JOHN KAVANAUGH ELECTED
John Kavanaugh and his wife Pattie grew up in Boston and met in high school while performing together in several theatrical productions. They have had a lifelong passion for the theater and affinity for Cape Cod. John worked professionally for many years in the investment management industry as a research analyst, portfolio manager and chief investment officer for insurance and investment advisory businesses. After more than twenty-two years with Allmerica Financial in Worcester, Massachusetts, John and Pattie retired to their home in Dennis in 2006. John currently serves as an Independent Trustee for the MFS Funds, an investment company with over $100 billion in assets based in Boston and as a Governing Member of the Independent Directors Council in Washington, D.C. He graduated from Harvard College with an A.B. in Classics and from Harvard Business School with an M.B.A. John and Pattie have three children and one grandchild and are active in several fundraising activities on Cape Cod.
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ARTISTIC DIRECTOR SIGNS AGAIN FOR SEASON 2013
Richard Hawes, President of the Board of Trustees for the Cape Playhouse ~ Cape Cod Center for the Arts, has announced that they have signed a final one-year contract with Artistic Director, Evans Haile, for the 2013 Cape Playhouse Season. Mr. Haile has served as Artistic Director for the Cape Playhouse since 2000. The Cape Playhouse plans to begin announcing its 2013 slate of shows within the next few weeks.
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EVANS HAILE EMBRACES NEW CHALLENGES AS HE COMPLETES HIS YEAR COMMITMENT
& MOVES ON FROM NORTH SHORE MUSIC THEATRE AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Having created the infrastructure, show choices, casting, steering, and completing, the Premiere Season of the newly re-opened North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly, Massachusetts, Producing Artistic Director Evans Haile has announced his decision to move on and allow more time to focus on several projects that further his personal goal of keeping the Performing Arts a vital part of American culture. His one year commitment was completed on December 31, 2010. He still serves as Artistic Director of Cape Cod’s historic Cape Playhouse and will co-produce “Footloose” at both theatres later this year. " I am delighted to have been able to help bring back the North Shore Music Theatre, and believe when an Arts organization comes back from the brink, it is a major sign of hope for the Arts in American society. I am so appreciative of the New England audience support for the work we produced this first season. With much additional thanks to the Artists, Staff, and Crew who came together to make it happen, and who believe that even under tough circumstances, it is well worth the effort. I look forward to sharing the Cape Playhouse production "Footloose" this summer with North Shore audiences, and seeing the theatre continue on from this year's beginnings," stated Mr. Haile. Haile’s attention this season includes the upcoming 85th Anniversary Season at the Cape Playhouse. The 2011 Season marks Mr. Haile's 12th year as Artistic Director of America's Oldest Professional Summer Theatre. Along with his preparing the American series of concerts, and Australian Premiere of his evening, "Salon Soiree-- an evening of Music, the Piano, Humor and the Arts" most recently performed at the YORK theatre in NYC. Last year, Haile was asked to launch and head the H.A.I.L.E. Fund. (Helping Arts in Local Education). The fund is dedicated to providing support to Public School Arts Education with 3 primary objectives: 1.Support School Arts programs that have been diminished due to economic cuts, as well as providing support to talented individuals, through financial scholarships. 2. Provide transportation opportunities to schools for Performing Arts Events held off campus. 3. Creating Master Class Opportunities for middle and high school students in all fields of the Arts. Currently Mr. Haile is working on saving another major American historic theatre, the Royal Poinciana Playhouse in Palm Beach, as well as continuing his work as a consultant for many Arts Organizations.
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