Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival will launch a leadership transition process this fall, following the resignation of the Festival’s Managing Director, Robert Barr. Barr, who has been the Festival’s administrative leader for eight years, announced his resignation today and said he will be officially ending his tenure in November.
“While there is no perfect time in an organization's cycle to make such a decision, I firmly believe that now is an advantageous time for me and for the organization to make the change”, said Barr. “Bard has many opportunities in front of it for growth, improvement, development and the ongoing pursuit of excellence. It is currently in the midst of a wide-ranging strategic planning process. Now is a perfect time to add to this, with the search for a person who comes with a fresh perspective to help lead the organization into its next decade. Bard has been a significant part of my life for fifteen years and so this has been a difficult decision. I take pride in having been an important part of the Festival’s development. I will look back fondly on my years at Bard and wish the company and all involved great success.”
The Chair of Bard’s Board of Directors, John McCulloch, praised Barr’s contribution to Bard’s ongoing success. “Rob has been with the company since 1997, as Operations Manager and then as General Manager and Managing Director. He has played a big part in making Bard what it is today. We appreciate and value the work he’s done but we also respect his decision and wish him well in his future endeavours.”
Christopher Gaze, the Festival’s founder and artistic director, said "Rob Barr has been my good companion at Bard for fifteen years. He has served our company with great dedication - a more loyal business partner you could never find. He leaves with our grateful thanks and on behalf of all my colleagues we recognize his massive contribution to the theatre.”
McCulloch said the Board is planning a transition process that will provide uninterrupted interim leadership through the end of 2012 and into early 2013, while a search for a permanent administrative head is underway. He said that transition process will coincide with an organizational review, in order to optimize operating systems and leverage the opportunities that are being presented by the Festival’s expanded capacity and its growing partnerships in the community.
Bard on the Beach is Western Canada’s largest Shakespeare theatre company, with an annual attendance of over 85,000. Its twenty-third season wraps up on Saturday, September 22 with a final performance of The Taming of the Shrew. At the end of that evening’s performance, the Festival’s 2013 run dates and lineup of plays will be announced.
Visit the Bard on the Beach website at bardonthebeach.org for information on plays and schedules. Tickets are on sale through the website or by calling 604.739.0559.
Media Contact: Cynnamon Schreinert