The Duluth Playhouse Board of Directors announces that Wes Drummond has been hired as Executive Director, effective May 11, 2021. He joins Phillip Fazio, who was recently hired as Producing Artistic Director.
Over the past 21 years, Christine Gradl Seitz served as both the Artistic and Executive Director at the Playhouse. She will remain with the organization as Executive Consultant through the transition.
“It’s a testament to Christine Seitz’s dedication that The Playhouse has grown and flourished as it has over the past 20 years,” said Patty McNulty, Board President. “To have a Producing Artistic Director with the experience and talent of Phillip Fazio now being joined by Wes Drummond, who has an equal amount of experience and passion for our mission, is proof of the exceptional leadership the organization has had under Christine.”
Graduating from Penn State University with a Master of Fine Arts in Direction, Drummond recently assisted Tony Award-winning director, Matthew Warchus, on the internationally acclaimed Broadway production of A Christmas Carol which transferred from The Old Vic in London. He also assisted Tony Award-nominated director, Michael Greif, on Second Stage Theater’s production of Bess Wohl’s award- winning new psychological drama, Make Believe.
Drummond held the Resident Artistic Director position with McLeod Summer Playhouse in Southern Illinois, where he directed and choreographed several productions each season while also establishing MSP’s highly successful Theatre for Young Audiences program.
“I’m most excited about the people; the people inside and outside of the Playhouse. An organization of this capacity owes its success to a staff of fearless artists, a supportive Board and an active community who is dedicated to seeing the arts thrive,” commented Drummond. “The past year has been a challenge for arts organizations everywhere. Christine and the Duluth Playhouse team have been working non-stop throughout to guide this organization to the other side of the pandemic. I’m thrilled by the passion and possibility that I see around us.”
As Executive Director, Drummond will work closely with staff and the Playhouse Board of Directors to ensure the organization can continue to adapt and serve the organization’s audiences as well as be responsible for fundraising, financial planning, donor relations, oversee patron services and marketing management, and working tightly with the Producing Artistic Director to fulfill the mission, purpose, and artistic goals of the Playhouse.
“Wes is a visionary leader who equally understands the artistic and business needs of a flourishing theatre company,” remarked Fazio. “I am so excited to welcome him and his many new ideas to the Playhouse family as we enter the next chapter of this fantastic organization.”
Drummond’s appointment comes after several months of a nationwide search by a committee chaired by Patty McNulty, Board President.
The addition of Drummond to the staff is also perfectly timed with the Playhouse’s reopening plans at full audience capacity and the launch of its soon-to-be-announced 2021-2022 season.
To learn more about Wes, watch this news segment from Fox 21: