Ann Arbor (June 19, 2014) The Board of Directors of Performance Network Theatre voted unanimously last night to support a new production model and management structure under the direction of John Manfredi, a long-time theater producer and actor. Manfredi assumes the role of Producing Artistic Director.
The Board suspended operations on May 21. Since then it has been engaged in a deliberate assessment of the Theatre's financial situation and has sought proposals designed to re-invigorate what to many is one of Ann Arbor's cultural icons. Manfredi has put together an impressive team of seasoned professionals ready to do the heavy lifting needed to honor Performance Network's 30-year legacy of artistic excellence.
Due to the sensitive nature of negotiations with funders and investors, the sealed bid was delivered confidentially, along with other proposals, to the Board of Directors of the Performance Network Theatre.
According to Manfredi, "We are a team with a mission, with passion, we trust each other, and are prepared to honor our commitment until our goal of a thriving, sustainable and nationally recognized Performance Network is accomplished."
John Manfredi is the owner of Etico Productions LLC, a Michigan theatrical consulting and production company. Etico Productions has partnered with Olympia Entertainment, Palace Sports and Entertainment, Michigan State University, "Ernie the Play" and many of the state's small professional theaters companies. He has served as Education Coordinator of the Creative Arts Center of North Oakland County; and as Managing Director of the Jewish Ensemble Theatre and The Theatre Ensemble at Meadow Brook Theatre. He was recently seen on the stage of Performance Network in the stellar, one-man show, "An Illiad."
Suzi Regan will play a key role as Associate Director. She is an award-winning actor, director, sound designer and writer. She has over 30 years of experience in professional theatre.
In making this announcement Ron Maurer, President of the Board, indicated that there are a lot of hurdles facing the Theatre in the next several weeks. Manfredi and the Board will be working hard to honor commitments to Theatre patrons, donors and vendors. Maurer cautioned that it will take time, but that the Board believes the new production model being implemented is the best option to ensure the long-term sustainability of a professional theater in downtown Ann Arbor.
Patrons who missed the opportunity to see "Richard III" when the production was canceled mid-run are encouraged to take advantage of the generous offers made by Tipping Point Theatre, Two Muses Theatre and Michigan Shakespeare Festival to honor their tickets. In the coming weeks plans will also be announced for an additional offering to round-out the season.
Individuals who have paid for subscriptions for the 2014-15 season will not be disappointed. In presenting his proposal to the Board, Manfredi detailed preliminary plans for the season. Further announcements will be forthcoming.