David M. Wax, President of the Board of Directors of The Sandra Fenstein-Gamm Theatre, has announced a sabbatical for Executive Director Yvonne Seggerman from July 1 through December 31, 2012, during which he will serve as the organization's acting executive director.
Over nine seasons serving first as managing director (2003-2008) and then as executive director (2009-2012), Seggerman has led the non-profit theater through a period of phenomenal growth, achieving both organizational and financial stability. At her request, the board of directors has granted Seggerman a sabbatical to work on independent projects for professional and personal development.
"I am blessed with a working partner, Artistic Director Tony Estrella, plus a wonderful family of artists, staff and board members who see the benefit of giving me a bit of a break to explore and recharge," Seggerman said. "This way I can come back in January 2013 to work on implementing the next five-year strategic plan. I am happy because we are in terrific shape for next season with over 83% of last year's subscribers having renewed already, showing great patron and customer satisfaction. Also, we are projecting a balanced budget for the fiscal year ending June 30."
During Seggerman's tenure, The Gamm has grown from just two full-time employees to over 60 artists and administrative employees on the payroll. The annual budget has increased from $200,000 to over $1.2 million; and season ticket holders have increased from 94 to over 2,000. More than 34,000 patrons visit the downtown Pawtucket Armory-based theater each year.
A retired arts leadership consultant, Gamm Board President David M. Wax is the ideal choice to serve as acting executive director during Seggerman's absence. Wax was Executive Director of the Rhode Island Philharmonic from 2001-2008, and during the past four years has worked as interim executive director for both Opera New Jersey and The Delaware Symphony Orchestra.
Wax said he is looking forward to this new opportunity.
"I have been an enthusiastic fan and supporter of the work of Tony Estrella and The Gamm since I moved to Rhode Island," he said. " I am delighted to be able to put my experience as a performing arts executive director and interim executive director to the benefit of this extraordinary theatrical company."
The Gamm's executive committee will announce a new president or acting president of the board to fill in for Wax.
Founded in 1984 as Alias Stage, the non-profit Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre creates the finest of live theater, engaging the audience intensely in current and recurrent issues of consequence. The Gamm further serves the public with educational outreach programming designed to support the theatrical experience, and help sustain and enhance the intellectual and cultural life of its community. The Gamm is a member of New England Area Theatre (NEAT), a bargaining unit of the Actors Equity Association.