The Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center director search committee forwarded two names to FMU President Fred Carter as finalists for the position of managing director.
After interviewing the five finalists recommended by the search committee in April, the list was narrowed to two Wednesday afternoon. They are Lindsay Gambini, executive director of theatre management and programming at Kean University in Union, N.J., and Laura Sims, production manager for the Clarence Brown Theatre in Knoxville, Tenn.
“The search committee has done a fine job of narrowing the pool of applicants down to these two,” said Carter. “Certainly, on the strength of their credentials, they both have the ability to run the facility and without question are among the strongest applicants.”
Gambini has more than 30 years experience as an arts administrator, four of which have been as the director of theatre management and programming at Kean University. She is responsible for programming and managing three theatres that produce and present more than 350 events annually on the campus. Prior to this, she was administrative director for Unity Concerts in New Jersey for two years.
Gambini earned a master’s degree of philosophy in theatre and a master of arts in theatre from City University of New York. In addition, she earned a master of arts in performing arts administration from New York University and her bachelor’s degree from California State University at Fullerton.
Sims has more than a decade of experience in theatre management, with the past seven of those years as the production manager at the Clarence Brown Theatre. She is responsible for developing and overseeing production budgets for six productions per season. She was the production stage manager for The Self Family Arts Center in Hilton Head for three years prior to accepting her current position.
Sims earned a master of fine arts degree in stage management from the University of Missouri (Kansas City) and a bachelor’s degree in theatre from Auburn University.
Both candidates are expected to meet with Carter and community leaders in the next seven to 10 days for a more extensive interview process, after which, Carter said he will name a managing director. The director will assume the position no later than mid-July. With the FMU Performing Arts Center still in the design phase, the director will be integral in shaping the plans, said Carter.
The performing arts center will contain space for theatrical and musical performances, as well as instructional classroom and office space. FMU's fine arts program will use the center for performances, programs and art exhibits. National traveling music, dance and theater productions will be booked to perform at the center as well.
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