Penobscot Theatre Company today announces that after 9 ½ years of service as the Producing Artistic Director, Bari Newport has resigned so that she can take on an exciting new creative opportunity that will be announced in the near future. She will depart on May 31st.
Reflecting on the upcoming changes Ms. Newport said, “My years here in Bangor have been some of the most extraordinary and fulfilling of my life and this will always feel like a true home. Penobscot Theatre Company is deeply rooted in my heart and in leaving I do feel a ripping sensation but I feel compelled to meet this next challenge.”
“We’ll miss her very much and are so thankful for what she’s been able to accomplish,” said PTC Board President Rob Prybylo. “Under her leadership we’ve grown tremendously, but of all her successes here she may have saved her greatest feat for last. She was absolutely determined to ensure the survival of the theatre company in the face of this pandemic, and led us through a creatively diverse and innovative digital season like nowhere else in the entire country. We’ve kept producing work, kept our doors open, so to speak, and have been able to retain our staff. She’s leaving us in a strong position.”
“We’re also very proud of the talent pool that she’s helped develop,” Mr Prybylo continued. “We’re moving forward seamlessly with an outstanding leadership team by promoting talent within the company.”
The Board of Directors has appointed long-time production manager Tricia Hobbs to be the Acting Artistic Director and has promoted Jennifer Shepard from Interim Managing Director to Executive Director.
You’re likely to remember both of them from many PTC productions. Ms. Hobbs has been full-time as the Production Manager and Resident Scenic Designer since 2015, but has been engaged as a guest artist since 2012. In recent years she’s also taken on directing several shows Wait Until Dark, Fun Home, and Safety Net. Ms. Shepard is the co-owner of ImprovAcadia and has been a part of the company since 2015, appearing on the PTC stage in shows such as Beauty and the Beast, Elf, and, most recently, Don’t Dress for Dinner.
The team is still hard at work wrapping up the remainder of the current digital season and Dramatic Academy while coordinating building renovations, making plans for future programming, and preparing for a hopeful re-opening of live theatre performance later this year.
For more information regarding ongoing shows and digital performances that run now through the end of Spring, please visit penobscottheatre.org or call 207-942-3333.