Spring Newsletter

March 2017

Issue No. 5
March 2017

Editor: Catherine Blake Smith

‘Transition & Commitment’ A Message from Interim Executive Director Zhenya Lavy

For 17 years and 4 days, Karen Lane served at the head of Theatre Puget Sound – first, as rental manager (and first employee) for the fledgling organization; finally, as executive director of a vital service “Institution.” In the three months since her departure, I’ve heard many people say Theatre Puget Sound and Karen Lane are inseparable for them and they cannot think of one without the other. Although the conflation would make Karen uncomfortable, it is understandable. Karen frequently was the first person a new-to-Seattle artist connected with in our theatre community. She has welcomed people, shared resources and ideas, and facilitated first connections for their local network.

This is how I met Karen, in a March 2000 interview for a contract job editing TPS’s first newsletter, in her spare, end-of-the-hall office no bigger than a storage closet. She hired me and rapidly became my first friend in this city, and it has been my privilege to support her and TPS with a steady stream of behind-the-scenes work ever since. In September, Karen succeeded in her years-long stratagem to hire me. We envisioned a long partnership leading TPS into its next twenty years.

But we know what they say about best-laid plans of mice and (wo)men…. In November, Karen’s tenure at TPS ended.

There are no handbooks for life or organizational change. Some endings roll-out over years, others catch us by surprise. Some things are handled well, others – in retrospect – could have been handled better. Ours is no different. Throughout, the staff, Board, and I have done what we believed was best given the circumstances of each moment. This executive transition has mostly been quiet, purposefully played out in private moments and actions not to engender suspicions about secrecy or conspiracy but to respect the very confidential and personal nature of what was happening. At the time a public announcement needed to be made, there simply wasn’t much we could say.

I’d like to change that now…

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New Staff Highlight: Jeanette Sanchez
Facilities Program Assistant

We are thrilled to formally introduce Jeanette Sanchez, who joined the Theatre Puget Sound staff in October. While part-time opening in facility coordination brought her to us, we have transitioned her to a full-time, expanded role that more fully applies her skills and expertise. As Facilities Program Assistant, Jeanette is your primary contact for rehearsal space requests and performance contracting. Already she is reinvigorating and clarifying our daily space management and maintenance procedures, as well as our adopt-a-studio program through which organizations earn studio credit. Her communications initiatives include improved in-studio signage and information, and she will launch a newsletter for facilities clients in 2017.

Among her early projects has been reorganization of the TPS library–watch for news about holdings and availability of this space for meetings or other table sessions–and she has been integral to the final phases of development for our new, web-optimized studio booking and payment system, which will be rolled out in the next month. As the new booking system frees up time in her workload, we will continue evolving Jeanette’s role for improved, strategic office and program integration.

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Find your Inner Monster at Seattle Fringe Festival!

March 23 through April 1, SFF takes over four TPS venues in the Seattle Center plus Eclectic Theater on Capitol Hill. How many of the 34 exciting shows will you packing into your viewing schedule?! Tickets are just $10-$15 dollars! Hurry, your inner monster will thank you!

And if you want to see any of the shows again, you’re in luck because your Best of Fringe votes will help determine who gets featured on TPS Stage @ Bumbershoot Labor Day weekend!


The Impact of Review Sites on Cultural Organizations

Learn from the best! Kent Whipple (Advisory Board Member, Yelp; Marketing & Development Director, Unexpected Productions) will talk about the free tools Yelp offers business owners, managers, and marketers to manage your online reputation, and the most effective ways to use Yelp to build relationships with potential audience members and grow awareness and hopefully revenue for your TPS member organization.

Saturday, April 22
10 am to noon
TPS Studio B
Free to TPS Members
RSVP on Facebook

Forward this info on to someone you think might benefit from attending this workshop! Tickets for non-members are $10 and available at BPT.


Mission Critical Coffee

Want to meet with Interim Executive Director Zhenya Lavy for a Mission Critical Coffee? Let us know! Zhenya says, “I would love to sit down with you and hear your thoughts about what TPS is doing that works for you, what doesn’t, and how we can do better!” 

We’ll schedule a time convenient for you, and we’ll have a fresh pot of coffee waiting. Email tps@tpsonline.org to schedule. We’re also extending invitations, so you may hear from us anyways!

Thanks to the following people for participating in our early conversations:

Arlene Martinez
Ana Maria Campoy
Sara Porkalob
Carter Rodriquez
TrĂ© Calhoun
Gianna Gargiulo


Revamped Headshot Days a smashing success!

You asked for access to more great headshot opportunities and we delivered! This year we negotiated with four great local photographers to offer you discounted images in time for UGAs. With such success, you can bet we’ll be back strong again next year with more amazing industry professionals!

Thank you to all our participating photographers for 2017:

Jennie Tucker
Rachel Alves
Michael B. Maine
Danielle Barnum

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