Portland Center Stage has just announced that the company's executive director, Greg Phillips (pictured above with writer Marc Acito in 2008), is leaving the company.
Phillips, who joined PCS in 2007, a year after the opening of the theater at the Armory, will pursue unspecified "other opportunities" in arts administration. Prior to moving to Sauvie Island, Phillips worked with several arts presenting organizations in the San Francisco area; he told me that he came to Oregon to escape the ever present roar of the freeway. He was not immediately available for comment.
Phillips oversaw a period of both explosive growth and economic difficulty for the company. PCS says its audience size has more than doubled in the last four years, but the theater also underwent painful layoffs
in 2009, and still has $9 million left to raise of the $38.7 million capital campaign to pay for the renovation of Armory. The complete press release is below the jump.
Portland Center Stage Executive Director Announces Departure from Theater Company
5 October 2010 – Executive Director Greg Phillips has announced that he is leaving his leadership role at Portland Center Stage. Phillips, whose extensive professional background includes over 30 years as a producer, presenter, arts administrator and artist manager, is leaving after three years at PCS to pursue other opportunities in those areas.
“Greg joined the company in 2007 at a crucial time in Portland Center Stage's history,” noted PCS Board Chair Mike Golub. “Our residency in the Armory was not yet two years old, and the company was experiencing rapid growth. Greg's role in partnering with Artistic Director Chris Coleman and the Board to help manage that growth successfully has been invaluable; we thank him for his contributions and wish him continued success as he takes the next steps in his career.”
Portland Center Stage is the city's leading professional theater company, and one of the nation's 20 largest. After 18 years as a tenant in the Portland Center for the Performing Arts, in 2006 the company moved into its new home at the Gerding Theater at the Armory, and in the subsequent seasons has
more than doubled its programming, audience size, and donor base. In addition, the Armory has become a community gathering place, hosting more than 300 non-PCS events each year.
“It's been an honor and a pleasure to have worked with the extraordinary staff and board during the past three years,” said Phillips. “Together we've made great strides in growing our family, and evolving our vision for the future and the plan to get us there. I look forward to continuing to be a
member of that family and spreading the good word about PCS.”
“Our first four years in the Armory have been exciting and challenging for the company, with explosive growth and many new demands on our staff and resources,” said Chris Coleman. “There has been an absolute need for additional resources to make sure we're delivering on all we promised for
this space, and Greg's help in developing those resources has been a big part of our continued success at achieving our financial and artistic goals.”
The Gerding Theater at the Armory has two performing spaces, the flexible-seating (up to 199) Ellyn Bye Studio and a Main Stage that seats 599. PCS produces over 450 performances of ten productions annually in these spaces, to an annual audience exceeding 150,000. The theater's leadership structure, always team-based and with experienced managers in all departments, will move forward under Coleman and the Board at this time. “We have a great deal of faith in Chris and his management team,” said Golub, “and are confident that we will be able to continue to do the good work that PCS is known for, on stage and in our business functions, through the rest of the season.”