The curtains will open next month on Michael Barker, the new managing director of the Marin Theatre Company.
Currently general manager of Laguna Playhouse in Laguna Beach, CA, Baker starts his new role on February 25, and plans to help strengthen the theater’s commitment to providing a home for Bay Area artists and playwrights.
“I am looking forward to reaching out to Marin County, the Bay Area and beyond to broaden the reach and impact of the important productions and arts education work that is already happening here in spades,” he said in a statement.
Barker has an MFA in theater management from Yale School of Drama and an MBA from Yale School of Management. He’s worked in a number of capacities at theaters across the country, including the Antaeus Company in Los Angeles as managing director, Yale Repertory Theatre as associate managing director, Seattle Repertory Theatre as managing director fellow and Court Theatre in Chicago as associate director of marketing.
He takes the reigns from Sandra Weingart, who has been serving as the Interim Managing Director since producing director Ryan Rilette left in July 2012 for a position as the producing artistic director of Round House Theatre in Bethesda and Silver Spring, Maryland.
During Rilette’s four-and-a-half-year tenure at MTC, the theater increased revenue from $1.8M in 2008 to a projected $3.2M in 2012. MTC also expanded to six main stage productions each season, established an off-site scene shop, created a $500,000 reserve fund and ended every season with a profit.
The Board of Directors launched five-month national search for his replacement and received a “significant candidate pool that represented a cross section of geography, experience and diversity.” They unanimously chose Barker.
“His passion for our artistic and educational work, combined with his business acumen and seemingly boundless energy are just the ticket to sustain MTC’s upward trajectory in the industry both locally and nationally,” MTC Board of Director President Brian Haughton said.
Artistic director Jasson Minadakis said he’s enthusiastic about working with Barker and welcoming him to the team.
“He is one of the most exciting new leaders in the field of arts administration,” Minadakis said. “His commitment to MTC’s mission and values, his extensive training and his impressive national network make him ideally suited to help lead us into our next stage of growth and development.”