Two directors of the New Wolsey Theater in Ipswich have announced that they will step down from their roles next March after a âheadyâ 21-year career.
Managing director Sarah Holmes and artistic director Peter Rowe came to the theater with the venue in “mothballs” after 18 months of closure.
But the duo has overseen the theater’s growth for the past two decades, hosting hit shows like Sweeney Todd, Guys and Dolls, and Ipswich Town-inspired Our Blue Heaven.
In a joint statement, Sarah and Peter said, âWe have had an exciting time in Ipswich making popular, accessible theater in this unique auditorium for over twenty years.
“When we arrived in 2000, the theater was closed and mothballed for eighteen months. We are now entering our fall 2021 season with a new center for community participation – NW2, an open-air performance space -” the Bowl, “a re – Modeled Front of House and a newly renovated auditorium full of life again as we greet the audience back to our inaugural production Never Lost At Home.
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âAs the New Wolsey returns to full strength and our industry emerges from the challenges of the pandemic, with arts organizations rightly looking to diversify their leadership, it is time to pass this opportunity on to a new generation of theater makers.
âNext year is our twenty-first birthday year, with a program that includes new pieces, a new musical, co-productions, a community piece and our branded pantomimeâ Rock and Roll âalongside an extensive new offering from creative communities.
“This is a fitting anniversary for both of us to say goodbye and to hand over a restored and refreshed organization to a new team.”
Richard Lister, Chairman of the New Wolsey Board of Directors, said, âSarah and Peter led this operation with tremendous dedication, energy, flair and skill.
“Alongside many memorable productions, including world premieres of new musicals from It’s a Wonderful Life to Midsummer Songs, 20th Century Boy to The Season, they have launched and driven major national initiatives like Ramps on the Moon that are transforming the employment of deaf people across the industry and disabled people.
âUnder her leadership, the New Wolsey has become an integral part of the local, regional and national theater landscape.
“You have given Ipswich a theater to be proud of – one of national importance. We thank you, wish you all the best and look forward to continuing this organization’s journey with a new generation of cultural leaders.”