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After participating as a Theatre Bay Area Board member for many seasons, I am delighted to be involved in leading our organization through this period of transition, development and growth. Throughout this interim period, I’m honored to use this column to update you about the transition and provide a window into the big changes taking place at TBA.

This is my first time in 2022 addressing the TBA membership as Board President, but throughout the years I’ve known so many of you as a colleague, and some as a professor, researcher, student, executive director, consultant, board trustee, advocate or adviser.

Yes, I was trained in theatre (and education), and always found the most satisfaction, backstage or front of house – being stage manager, company manager, house manager, presenter, or executive director. All these different hats reflect the many ways the San Francisco Bay Area inspires those of us that feel drawn to work in the arts.

In this period of transition, turning a corner is the imperative as TBA’s Board of Directors maps plans for its journey from our long time Executive Director to new one in 2022. The Covid pandemic is still with us – we will keep looking for a turnoff that so far is elusive. And then, how do we turn towards a new course with new dimensions for success? How will we lead the board, staff and members from anxiety towards equanimity, from conditional admiration to joyous inclusive growth?

At this point, we have some answers to those questions. The excellent search firm we engaged in the fall of 2021, ALJP & Associates, is guiding a joint group of staff, board, and community members through a thorough interview process that we hope will end with a leader that is the right fit for TBA, and for the full Bay Area theatre community.

In December we hired Interim Managing Director Ann Marie Lonsdale, whose experience and abilities as an arts administrator we trust to lead us through the financial and structural challenges of the next few months. I, and the rest of the Board of Directors, stand with utmost admiration behind our very skilled TBA staff, and we ask for your support. I whole heartedly encourage your timely expression of support with a gift to the Brad Erickson Fund for the Future. The Fund will be the productive legacy of nearly two decades of Brad’s wonderful work which maintains TBA’s unending effort of service to the Bay Area theatre community.

And don’t forget to register for the April 4 conference.

Carry on! With warmest wishes for success to all — curtain up!
Anne W. Smith