May 20, 2014
Dear Friend of Seattle Rep,
Seattle Repertory Theatre, and the greater arts community, suffered an enormous loss with the sudden passing of Artistic Director Jerry Manning on April 30, 2014. An all-around theatre practitioner, Jerry was a beloved leader, director, producer, mentor and friend.
On behalf of the Seattle Rep staff and Trustees, we want to thank all of our extended Rep family for their outpouring of condolences and warm memories. We were reminded, once again, of the special bond that theatre creates and the incredible impact Jerry had on our audiences and the community at-large. It is our hope that you will join us for a public Celebration of Life in honor of Jerry on Monday, June 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Bagley Wright Theatre.
Many of you have also expressed some concern regarding the Rep’s immediate future. As stewards of the theatre, we want to take this moment to address some of those questions and to reassure you of our commitment to Seattle Rep’s future, even as we work to celebrate Jerry’s life and artistic legacy.
There will be no changes made to the previously announced 2014–2015 season. We are very proud of this ambitious and exciting line-up of plays, including the October New Play Festival. As an organization, we are more committed than ever to producing the season Jerry planned, which we will dedicate in his honor.
A New Era of Leadership
We are proud to announce that Braden Abraham has been appointed Artistic Director with a two year contract. Loyal Rep patrons know Mr. Abraham as a gifted director (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Photograph 51, Clybourne Park) and as a member of the Rep’s artistic staff since 2003, most recently as Associate Artistic Director. Braden worked very closely with Jerry over the past decade and shares his commitment to artistic excellence, producing new works, and fostering local voices.
Joining Braden at the helm of the organization is incoming Managing Director Jeffrey Herrmann, who arrives in June. Together they will make a formidable duo, ably supported by the Rep’s long-tenured senior management team.
A Final Thank You to Ben
While this is not the farewell journey any of us expected for departing Managing Director Ben Moore, his leadership has never been more appreciated than over the last few weeks as we worked together to honor Jerry and prepare the Theatre for its next steps.
Ben and Jerry were a tremendous team, and it was through their combined perseverance that the LBJ plays will be a centerpiece of the 2014–2015 season. Ben will continue to be active in our community outreach activities surrounding those productions. For all of that and so much more, we can only say thank you.
We deeply appreciate your continued interest in and support for Seattle Rep at this important time of change and transition.
President, Board of Trustees
Chair, Board of Trustees