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August 26, 2013 at 3:24 PM

Big changes at Seattle Musical Theatre

From Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson:

Mark Chenovick has been hired as the interim executive director for Seattle Musical Theatre, as his first act in the post, he’s appointed Troy Wageman the new interim artistic director.

The 35-year-old theater company, formerly known as Civic Light Opera, presents Broadway musicals in Magnuson Park.

Chenovick is charged with “charting a new course” for SMT, which has gone through numerous changes of leadership over the past 15 years.   In addition to his new responsibilities for SMT, Chenovick  will continue as  technical director and scenic designer for SecondStory Repertory in Redmond.  He also is consulting with ArtsWest, on the hiring of directors for some their upcoming shows.

Wageman was last seen at SMT as director for the hit “Altar Boyz” during the 2012-2013 season. Prior to that, he choreographed “The Drowsy Chaperone” under the direction of Brandon Ivie.

Cash-flow problems have arisen periodically for SMT, which is carrying an unspecified  deficit with some outstanding loans.  But Chenovick states that these troubles are endemic to nonprofit theaters, and are surmountable.  “The company has so much potential right now,” he said.  “I’ve got a lot of plans for it that I’ll be announcing soon.” He indicated that there may be some changes in SMT’s previously announced slate of shows for the  2013-14 season. Stephen Sondheim’s “Sunday in the Park with George” may be canceled due to the size and production demands, and the holiday show “Scrooge” may be replaced.

Chenovick also said he would like to “bring back the Civic Light Opera brand,” and possibly create a season of  CLO main stage  shows, and  a slate of more compact productions “of some smaller, edgier shows.”

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