March 23, 2018
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Penobscot Theatre Company names artistic and executive directors

Carter F. McCall | BDN
Carter F. McCall | BDN
The Penobscot Theatre on Main Street in downtown Bangor.


BANGOR, Maine — There are some changes happening at Penobscot Theatre Company. Artistic Director Bari Newport was recently named producing artistic director; and Interim Managing Director Mary Budd was named executive director. The theatre company also approved five new directors for the board.

Budd has been interim managing director since February.

“The change in titles reflects the board’s acknowledgement of the exceptional job Bari Newport has done the past two and a half years, not only as an artistic leader but as a manager focused on the theatre’s financial stability and growth,” said Cheryl Olson, board president, in a press release. “At the same time, the title of executive director more accurately reflects the work Mary Budd will be doing, not only in fundraising and development, but in managing the business side of the organization.”

Both positions report directly to the board of directors.

Newport, who earned a Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of Iowa, was artistic associate at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre in Atlanta before becoming artistic director at Penobscot Theatre Company in January 2012. She also held positions at Florida Repertory Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse, and was a recipient of the Theatre Communications Group New Generations Future Leaders grant, funded by the Carnegie and Doris Duke foundations.

Budd graduated cum laude from Dartmouth College with a bachelor’s degree in history, and has been a freelance communications and publications consultant since 2007, with a nationwide clientele. Formerly, she was a staff writer and editor for New York-based Edison Schools, Inc., and earlier was publications director of a Boston-based education management company. She began her career as a political appointee in the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., and later worked for Massachusetts Gov. William Weld. Budd served on the Bangor School Committee from 2007 to 2010, and served on the theatre’s board from 2011 to early 2014.

New members of the board include Cynthia Bergin, branch manager for Camden National Bank in Brewer; Joel Farley, facilities and emergency preparedness administrator for Eastern Maine Medical Center; Adria LaRose, an attorney at Eaton Peabody; Coney Quinn, customer service manager and assistant vice president for People’s United Bank; and Sharon Zolper, an English teacher at Hampden Academy.

They join current directors Cheryl Olson, president; Fritz Oldenburg, vice president; Maria Kreilkamp, secretary; Maria Mason, treasurer; as well as Kirsten Ismail, Jane Jennings and Tom Palmer. Shaun Dowd and John Gregory will complete their terms on the board of directors in August.

Penobscot Theatre Company is the nation’s northeastern-most professional theater company, producing handcrafted works for audiences at the historic Bangor Opera House, 131 Main St., Bangor.


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