“We’re thrilled to welcome Kurt to the Garry Marshall Theatre,” says Artistic Director Dimitri Toscas. “His extensive knowledge of nonprofit development and theatre management is bolstered only by his first-hand understanding of the local community and what makes it tick. His leadership style is inspiring and he’s quickly become a valued member of our team.”
Swanson is the theatre’s first official Managing Director in its year-long history after relaunching as the nonprofit Garry Marshall Theatre in the summer of 2017. The role of Managing Director was created after the departure of Executive Director Sherry Greczmiel at the end of the inaugural season. Swanson will lead the organization’s charge in fundraising, infrastructure development, and brand-building while guiding the theatre in the best-practice business principles that pertain to nonprofit live performance.
“I feel very fortunate to have been able to capitalize on my long-time performing arts and theatre background with my business and fiscal skills that have been honed over several decades,” says Swanson. “This is my ‘home town theatre’ since I’ve lived nearly two decades in the neighborhood and have always admired this performing space.”
Alongside the artistic team of Dimitri Toscas and Joseph Leo Bwarie, Swanson will be a major player in the continuation of programming during the Garry Marshall Theatre 2018/2019 Season, which begins on October 12 with a new production of Real Women Have Curves by Josefina López.
With over 30 years of continuous nonprofit business management of performing arts, nonprofit, and social services organizations, Swanson has a long history of bold, dynamic leadership and collaboration. He has served numerous theatres and nonprofits across the country, including the The Broad Stage (Santa Monica) as General Manager, Steppenwolf Theatre Company (Chicago) as Interim Business Manager, Arts Services Associates (Milwaukee) assigned as Business Manager for Theatre X, and Box Office Manager for Skylight Theatre in Milwaukee. He also served as Operations Director of CASA of Los Angeles and Executive Director of Animal Samaritans in the Coachella Valley. Swanson’s appointment culminates a three-month search process, which considered a significant candidate pool from Los Angeles and across the country. The search was conducted by the Garry Marshall Theatre Board of Directors.
About Kurt Swanson
Chicago native Kurt Swanson has been involved in theatre since his years as a musician for High School plays. His performance skill garnered statewide awards and earned him scholarships. He served in a variety of administrative positions with social service and arts organizations in Milwaukee and Chicago, including serving as a founding member of the “Second Tier” collaborative arts organization in Milwaukee, and as manager of Theatre X, an internationally touring ensemble theatre. In Chicago, he served as finance manager for Steppenwolf theatre during the time of its mainstage, experimental and Broadway productions, often interacting with major stars and virtually every sector of professional theatre production. He has served as senior staff to major nonprofits in the Coachella Valley and Los Angeles, and served on the board of Syzygy Theatre Group.
About Garry Marshall Theatre
Garry Marshall Theatre is a nonprofit organization providing innovative performances, educational opportunities, and storytelling activities for all ages, year-round. Located in the heart of Burbank and Toluca Lake’s entertainment industry, the critically acclaimed and Ovation Award-winning 130-seat theatre was founded in 1997 as the Falcon Theatre by Hollywood legend Garry Marshall. Reestablished as the Garry Marshall Theatre in 2017, the theatre continues to cultivate new artists and experiences that spark ideas and build community.
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