Northern Stage, the regional non-profit professional theater company in White River Junction, VT, has announced that Russell M. Maitland has been hired as Executive Director of the award-winning company.
Maitland, whose background in the arts goes back 30 years, will oversee the operations of the entire company. He will work with Artistic Director Brooke Wetzel Ciardelli and Producing Director Catherine Doherty to continue Northern Stage’s successful 15-year trajectory, with a focus on expanding attendance and the donor base. He also plans to expand the theater arts education program, coordinated with the professional theater season.
Stuart Johnson, the Chair of the Northern Stage Board of Directors, notes that Maitland’s background, which includes an MBA and 14 years of Wall Street experience in addition to award-winning arts program development and management, made him an ideal candidate for the new position. “Russ will help us maintain the high quality of Northern Stage’s mainstage art, pursue our creative aspirations, reinvigorate programs for our children, expand community outreach, and broaden collaborations with cultural organizations of all stripes. At the same time, the company will adhere to the vigorous self discipline necessary to secure financial stability. To succeed, the Board has resolved to evolve its leadership model.
“Russ, Brooke and Catherine Doherty comprise a dynamic trio with nearly 100 years of professional theater among them, poised to move Northern Stage towards an exciting future. Brooke and Catherine have consistently set the bar high with their high quality artistic work. Russ adds leadership experience and business acumen. Russ' addition allows Brooke and Catherine to concentrate on the work for which they have such great passion.”
Russ spent 14 years as Finance Director of a commercial real estate firm, managing a multi-million dollar portfolio before launching a successful career in arts management. Once a member of the acclaimed Joffrey Ballet Company, he served for 10 years as the Executive Director of three theater organizations. He has established a professional theater company, constructed a 100-seat theater facility, designed an award-winning arts education program, managed theater financial systems and implemented several highly successful fund-raising strategies. As a tribute to his work in the State of Rhode Island, Russ was named as one the top businessmen of 2010 by the Providence Business Journal and received the Governor's Award for the Best Cultural Arts Center in the state.
“Russ is an outstanding addition to our team,” Brooke Wetzel Ciardelli says. “He has the background and expertise to lead the organization toward recognition as one of the top regional theaters in the country.” Catherine Doherty adds, “With Russ leading the already fantastic artistic, administrative and production teams at Northern Stage, we look forward to increasing the company’s contribution to the arts community and to the entire region.”
The enthusiasm of this appointment is mutual. “I had several great opportunities to work with other arts organization,” says Russ, “but I chose Northern Stage because I’m excited about taking a great theater to new heights. I’m looking forward to expanding the audience and donation base to strengthen the organization so Northern Stage may continue its great work.”
Several months ago, the Board of Directors concluded that the time had come to add this significant management component to Northern Stage and committed to have an Executive Director in place before the start of their 16th Season. In unanimously voting to hire Russ, following a lengthy and intensive interview process, the Board secured an individual who could bring professionalism, a standard of excellence and a powerful vision to match the quality of theatrical art the Upper Valley has enjoyed for the last 15 years.