Charleston Stage unveils dynamic new leadership team
We're happy to announce our upcoming senior leadership changes that will take place at the close of our 45th Anniversary Season which concludes on May 1st.
Janet Fiorenza, President of Charleston Stage’s Board of Trustees announced that Marybeth Clark will become Artistic Director and Frank Mack will become the company’s first Managing Director beginning May 1st. On that date, Founder and Producing Artistic Director, Julian Wiles, will become Director Emeritus.
“Working with Charleston Stage through the pandemic and seeing them raise the curtain once again and see the success that has followed, has been an incredible experience for me as President of the Board of Trustees,” stated Board President Janet Fiorenza. “This dynamic new two-person management team brings strong experience, talent, passion, and vision to these top leadership positions. I have full confidence in their abilities and no doubt that there is no limit to what Charleston Stage can accomplish moving forward under their guidance and leadership.”
Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg recently noted, “On behalf of the city of Charleston, I’d like to congratulate Julian Wiles on his well-deserved retirement. For 45 years, Charleston Stage has been a pillar of our arts community, and with the new team of Marybeth Clark and Frank Mack at the helm, I am excited for the future and the continued success of this great arts organization.”
MARYBETH CLARK, CHARLESTON STAGE’S NEW ARTISTIC DIRECTOR
Marybeth Clark, who will become Artistic Director, first appeared as an actor with Charleston Stage in 1997 in Moon Over Buffalo. The following year she joined the company full-time as the Director of Education and continued to act and direct. Under Ms. Clark’s leadership Charleston Stage’s education programs have grown into one of the largest in the state. These programs include 300 students in Charleston Stage’s Theatre School program and more than 50 students who are members of Charleston Stage’s TheatreWings High School Apprentice Program. Under Ms. Clark’s leadership, Charleston Stage’s school matinee performances are attended annually by more than 20,000 area students from around the state.
In 2000, Ms. Clark created Charleston Stage’s Resident Professional Acting Program, an opportunity for college graduates in theatre to continue their training while performing and teaching with a professional theatre company. Through the Resident Professional Actor program, 130 talented young actors have begun their professional careers with Charleston Stage. Many of these actors have returned to Charleston, working with Charleston Stage as guest actors, directors, and choreographers. These include Gabriel Wright, now a New York-based actor, who returned to play Scrooge last December and Crystin Gilmore, also now a New York-based actor/director who has returned to direct the upcoming Once on This Island musical, the finale of Charleston Stage’s 45th Season.
In 2001, Ms. Clark was named Associate Artistic Director and, in that capacity, has directed more than 70 productions, most recently, Kinky Boots, The Addams Family - A New Musical, The Very Hungry Caterpillar Show, The Play That Goes Wrong, and Native Gardens.
Marybeth Clark was instrumental in creating and implementing Charleston Stage’s new CityStage Community Engagement program that includes after-school classes on site at multiple Title One schools, scholarships for classes at the West Ashley Theatre Center and professional development for area teachers. In addition Charleston Stage’s annual free CityStage May community performance series will once again bring a rousing musical version of Treasure Island to schools and communities throughout the Lowcountry.
FRANK MACK, CHARLESTON STAGE’S NEW MANAGING DIRECTOR
Frank Mack, who will become Charleston Stage’s first ever Managing Director, most recently served five years as the Executive Producer of the Utah Shakespeare Festival in Cedar City, UT. Prior to that, he was an associate professor and Founder of the arts administration programs at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT. He said, “I am very excited by the opportunity to join this amazing organization. I have been inspired by the deep commitment held by the staff, board, and audience of Charleston Stage. I am much enthused by the artistic and educational achievements of Charleston Stage and eager to become an active part of it.”
Mr. Mack also worked as managing director of the California Shakespeare Theatre in Berkeley, CA; Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, NY; Connecticut Repertory Theatre in Storrs, CT; and project manager at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C. His skill set includes an emphasis on making data-informed decisions and cultivating long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with stakeholders. Mr. Mack served as a management consultant at Center Stage in Baltimore, MD; the African Continuum Theatre Company in Washington, D.C.; the Contemporary American Theatre Festival in Shepherdstown, WV; the University of Delaware in Newark, DE; and numerous other community and university arts organizations along the East Coast.
Originally from Overland Park, KS, Mr. Mack graduated from the University of Kansas with a bachelor’s degree in acting, and then earned an MFA in theatre directing from Virginia Tech. He will relocate to Charleston with his wife and two children, who are both in college. He begins work at the Dock Street Theatre on April 17th.
Clark and Mack announced several new initiatives for 2023-24 which will mark Charleston Stage’s 46th season. “We’re very pleased,” Artistic Director Marybeth Clark noted, “that our entire MainStage and Family Season lineup of shows feature seven new productions—all never before produced on the Dock Street Theatre stage. Many are regional and Charleston premieres.” Charleston Stage will officially make their announcement for the 2023-24 season of plays at the end of March.
Charleston Stage is also excited to announce that their May CityStage free community tour of Treasure Island is expanding to provide free performances at seven schools and communities across five counties: Charleston, Berkeley, Dorchester, Georgetown, and Colleton.
Education programming continues to grow with 220 students in spring classes and over 300 students in summer camps held at their West Ashley Theatre Center. Charleston Stage’s expanded education programming will include 17 weeks of arts integration workshops designed to bring theatre education programming to even more students, in even more communities throughout the Lowcountry.
Managing Director Frank Mack also noted that, “accessibility will expand to include ASL sign language interpreters at one performance of each MainStage and Family Series show next season. Charleston Stage has also begun offering free companion tickets for the visually impaired.”