Saturday, August 29, 2020

FRT to Reopen Fall of 2021, Satlof Stepping Down

Posted By on Sat, Aug 29, 2020 at 5:42 PM

In a press release Thursday, Ferndale Repertory Theatre, which has been shut down since shelter in place was declared in March, announced it would focus on repairs and hold off reopening until fall of 2021. It also shared that Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof will be stepping down.

Satlof, who's been involved with FRT for three decades, has helmed the theater's productions since 2015. Board Chair Erin Dunn is quoted in the release saying, "Leira has given us the great gift of time in finding the next Artistic Producing Director, and that time allows us to do a thorough search while we simultaneously work on expanding our cultural awareness."

click to enlarge Ferndale Repertory Theatre Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof, who is leaving her post. - PHOTO BY LEÓN VILLAGÓMEZ
  • Photo by León Villagómez
  • Ferndale Repertory Theatre Artistic Producing Director Leira V. Satlof, who is leaving her post.

Read the full release below:

For Immediate Release

August 27, 2020

Ferndale Repertory Theatre

Contact: Leira Satlof, 707-476-3057

leira@ferndalerep.org


Ferndale Repertory Theatre Makes Plans for 50th Anniversary

Reopening and New Leadership

In March of 2020, Ferndale Repertory Theatre (FRT) made the difficult decision to cancel all remaining performances in the 2019-2020 Season, with plans to reopen in the spring of 2021. Although hopes were high for the truncated 2020-2021 season, given the current conditions FRT does not feel that the health and safety of our audiences and artists would be properly served by reopening as originally planned. The FRT Board of Directors has committed instead to take this time to make some needed repairs to the building, attend to administrative tasks and strategic planning for the future, and prepare for an exciting reopening in the fall of 2021, which is the 50th anniversary of the theatre.

With the grand reopening of FRT will come new leadership. Current Artistic Producing Director, Leira V. Satlof, who has been retained by the theatre despite the closure required by the pandemic, has been working with a new mandate. In addition to maintaining the administrative side of her job she has been tasked with the digital archiving of history of the theatre, coordinating the planning of the 50th anniversary events, taking training in antiracism and drafting plans for the theatre influenced by that training, preparing to pass on the leadership of the organization and conducting the search for a new Artistic Producing Director.

“I have a long history at FRT where I directed shows 30 years ago as an HSU graduate student. My tenure as APD has been so rewarding. I have had the opportunity to work with an outstanding Board of Directors, hundreds of talented professional and amateur artists, and a business and patron community which shows their affection for FRT in so many important ways. Together we have made the theatre better than we found it artistically and financially.”


"The FRT Board of Directors is grateful for Leira's leadership and vision, guiding the theatre through challenging times and helping us emerge to be an organization striving to do better," said Chair Erin Dunn. "Leira has given us the great gift of time in finding the next Artistic Producing Director, and that time allows us to do a thorough search while we simultaneously work on expanding our cultural awareness. We look forward to celebrating our 50th Anniversary as a way to look back at the past and move forward to an even brighter future."
When asked why she is stepping away, Satlof responded, “While rewarding, the job is also really energy and time consuming. There are some other ventures I want to explore, and I am not getting any younger. I am so grateful for the hard work and support that the theatre community has provided since I came on in 2015, and now it is time for me to pass the reigns to the next talented and energetic leader. I am excited for the future and hope to stay involved with the theatre I love so dearly.”

While the 50th Anniversary Season and Events are still in development, there is much excitement at FRT about celebrating the significant milestone and people who have made the theatre a beloved place for the community to come together for so long.

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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

Jennifer Fumiko Cahill

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Jennifer Fumiko Cahill is the arts and features editor of the North Coast Journal.

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