Raymond Ochs, on the ARt board since September, will take over alongside Michael Weaver.
Actors Rep hopes to announce its 2008-09 season sometime in March; plans are for the theater to continue being housed at SFCC's Spartan Theatre for the next year.
'I've worked with nonprofits in the arts," says Ochs. "And there are life cycles to these things. After four seasons, Actors Rep is leaving its infancy. It's moving into its maturity — which hopefully means budget levels so that Michael can do plays with larger casts."
At a recent "shareholders meeting" with "supporters and friends" of ARt in attendance, the board shared its vision that moving into a downtown space was probably a five- to 10-year project — only to be met by strong opinions that it needed to be more like a three-year ambition. Clearly, there aren't many empty spaces downtown that could house 250 seats and all the spaces necessary for a theater. But Weaver talks envisions a future in which ARt might offer seven major productions (with longer runs than at present) along with five smaller-scale shows and children's theater in the summer.
Ochs and Weaver report that the number of ARt subscriptions has climbed to "about 1,300" now.
"We're not competing against CdA Summer Theatre or Interplayers or the Civic," says Ochs. "We're competing against Gonzaga basketball and Chiefs hockey and having martinis at Bistango. When people leave their homes today, they have 4,000 options for things to do. We want to make theater a compelling part of their lives."
Ochs has done media relations for the Oregon House of Representatives, done marketing and development as director of public support for the Red Cross in the Yakima area, and worked in marketing, public relations and as news directors for a couple of KHQ-owned TV stations in Yakima and the Tri Cities.
Reed McColm, who functioned as ARt's business manager for the past few months, will continue his relationship with the theater as one of its several "artistic associates."