Columbus, Ohio USA
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Columbus Children's Theatre Welcomes New Executive Director
By Margaret Marten
April 2017 Issue
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Susan Pringle has been named the new executive director of Columbus Children’s Theatre. She came to CCT in January after running her own company, In the Black, for two years providing strategic and development planning for nonprofit organizations.
Pringle, 48, grew up in Westerville, Ohio, and began her career in stage management after graduating from Wright State University with a fine arts degree in theatre design and technology. She continued to work in that field, as a stage manager, for a few years – with equity theater companies, some opera and dance – while living in Dayton before joining the Muse Machine in 1993 as an assistant program director, later working as their executive director until her move to Louisville in 2006.
The Muse Machine, founded in Dayton 35 years ago, is a nationally recognized arts education organization dedicated to providing opportunities for young people to view, experience and participate in artistic productions. Working with a wide range of arts organizations, students and teachers for over a dozen years brings a wealth of experience to Pringle’s current position.
“As a result of my time with Muse Machine, I know what students are capable of, what kind of results you can get when you work with students with a very high set of expectations,” Pringle said. “and I think there’s opportunity for CCT in that regard.”
More recent work over the past decade as a development director for the Merton Institute, as well as helping a friend launch and manage a business Green Earth Outdoors, adds to her experience in 501c3 governance, human resource management, fundraising, and accounting practices. Pringle’s love of learning and commitment to education continues on a more personal level as she works toward completing a master’s in Human Resource Development from Villanova University this year.
According to Pringle, most of CCT’s shows this season have sold out and classes are at capacity, so the organization is focusing on how to accomomodate growth. “We are in the process of talking with city leadership and leadership in the arts community about a new facility, “ she said.
“It’s packed,” said William Goldsmith, CCT’s artistic director, about the Park Street Theatre. “I mean every inch is used, so a new space would enable us to increase our production values, do bigger and better scenery. That’s a goal.”
Continuing to raise the artistic standards of the organization in order to build it into a world-class children’s theatre is ongoing. CCT will launch its Advanced Performance Academy this summer, an intensive training that culminates in a full professional-quality production. Pringle is excited about CCT’s future and grateful to act as a supportive guiding force for the organization. In the same spirit, she’s also gearing up to run the Columbus Marathon this fall!
Living in Westerville with her nine-year-old son, Baden, brings Pringle back to her roots in central Ohio, and there is much to catch up on. “I’m getting reacquainted with the arts community in Columbus,” she said. “I’m constantly, just pleasantly surprised at the number of things that I want to do.” She’s also surprised and delighted by the number of people she encounters who have been touched by CCT in one way or another.
“CCT’s been here for 54 years,” she said. “We are cultivating those young people who will become future patrons, who will become future arts leaders. We are working with students at that formative stage to help other organizations in the future. That’s very difficult to quantify, but it’s very important.”
Students in Pre-K through 12th grade can enjoy CCT’s high-quality theatre education at any one of their many locations in central Ohio, including the main office at 177 East Naghten St. downtown where they also give private lessons in acting, voice, dance, flute and piano. Financial assistance is available for families who demonstrate need. And don’t miss CCT’s April 2017 production of Crash staged at the Park Street Theatre. Visit www.columbuschildrenstheatre.org or call 614-224-6673 for tickets and information.
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