Berkshire Theatre Group Names New Executive Director
The Berkshire Theatre Group has a new executive director as it enters its 90th season.
Almost a century into its existence, a Berkshire institution is trying something new.
“No one. No one was holding that position before," said Kate Maguire, Artistic Director and CEO of Berkshire Theatre Group.
“We have had a couple managing directors in the past — I was a managing director when I started with the theater 24 years ago. So the position that I have became the Artistic Director CEO. I’ve been looking for the right partner for a while,” said Maguire.
And when she finally found that partner?
“A great deal of relief!" laughed Maguire. "Nick brings incredible experience, not only from the world of theater and the arts, but also from the world of government and fundraising.”
She’s talking about Nick Paleologos, a Beacon Hill veteran with 14 years as a Democratic state representative from the Middlesex area to his name. For five of those years, he served as the House Chairman of the Education, Arts and Humanities Committee. In the years since his public service, he’s helped found theaters like Boston’s Stuart Street Theater and schools like the Boston Renaissance Charter Public School. Paleologos has won two Tonys, and worked on a number of acclaimed TV shows.
“Well, first of all I have to tell you this a dream come true for me," Paleologos said. "I can’t be more thrilled about being in the Berkshires."
Paleologos ran into Maguire at a wedding in Hudson, New York. A long-time fan of her work with the Berkshire Theatre Group, he was excited to hear about the organization’s growth.
“I had been in New Jersey in Princeton for the last six years running the New Jersey state Council on the Arts, and was looking for an opportunity to come back to Massachusetts, and so the whole meeting was very — it had serendipity written all over it. And one thing lead to the other, and BOOM, I’m Pittsfield’s newest resident,” said Paleologos.
He’ll be entering the theater at a major milestone in its history — one that comes with serious thought for the future.
“Now what we’re working on is looking at how can we make sure this theater is here for the next generation, so we’re putting together a capital plan for the next 10 years," said Maguire. "We’re looking at all of our buildings, what are our needs, what kind of funding do we need for the organization to make sure that the organization gets to its hundredth year celebration, and Nick is really guiding that.”
The 65-year-old Paleologos has already had the chance to see what the theater group has to offer Berkshire County.
“Last night, the rehearsals for the Lion King junior were taking place on the stage of the Colonial. And you have to see it to appreciate it, these hundreds of kids who are just wide eyed and talented on the stage for the first time of a Broadway quality theater — and their sights are being raised just by participating in programs like the educational programs that we have here,” said Paleologos.