Berkeley Rep Announces New Board Lineup

by Jacob Coakley

Marjorie Randolph will return as the president of Berkeley Rep’s board of directors.
Marjorie Randolph will return as the president of Berkeley Rep’s board of directors.

Berkeley Rep’s had a busy summer. They’re finishing up their first collaborative lab, The Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work, and recently announced they’ll be taking their production of David Henry Hwang’s Chinglish to Hong Kong. They’ve also announced the new lineup of their board of directors that will help guide them to greater things over the next year. They’ve also added four people to their board of trustees, Returning to the board for a fourth term as president is Marjorie Randolph, who recently retired as senior vice president for Walt Disney Studios. The full list of the board, and the theatre’s 28 trustees (including four new appointees) are in the release below.

Executives from top firms lead Tony Award-winning theatre as Chinglish heads to Hong Kong

JULY 31, 2012 – Today, even as its new R&D facility for artists completes its first collaborative lab, the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Repertory Theatre announces the team of leaders who will guide the organization for the coming year. At the annual meeting of this renowned nonprofit, the board of trustees elected officers, welcomed new members, and renewed Berkeley Rep’s commitment to serve as a home for innovative artists and adventurous audiences.

This year’s board includes respected executives in finance, law, real estate, and technology, as well as prominent entrepreneurs and philanthropists. Their leadership is essential as 
Berkeley Rep continues to grow its global role in the industry while increasing its investment in the local community with a vibrant new center for creativity in West Berkeley. Marjorie Randolph, who recently retired as senior vice president for Walt Disney Studios, returns to chair the Theatre’s board for a fourth term.

“Berkeley Rep is the quintessential Bay Area venture,” she remarks. “Thanks to the ingenuity and energy of a few forward-thinking pioneers, it was born in a storefront, and over the years it has moved to the forefront of its field. We reliably deliver extraordinary experiences to a large – and growing – local audience, and as a result our productions have traveled far afield. These shows have toured widely in recent years, transforming the theatrical landscape and transferring to prominent stages in New York and London – even as we’ve brought visionary artists from other countries here. We’re delighted that the inaugural session at our incubator for new ideas was so successful, and thrilled to send a show to Asia for the first time.”

In the last decade, seven shows developed at Berkeley Rep have ended up on Broadway! Twelve landed off Broadway, two moved to London, two turned into films, and others have 
toured the nation. This July, at the nonprofit’s new facility in West Berkeley, more than 100 artists from across America, Australia, Singapore, and the United Kingdom convened for The Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work. Next, a new season of exhilarating shows begins with an array of innovators who have collectively earned five Tony Awards, 11 Obie Awards, and a Pulitzer Prize. Then American Idiot launches its autumn tour of Ireland and the UK, while Chinglish heads to the Hong Kong Arts Festival in March. Berkeley Rep truly has become an international leader in innovative theatre.

“We have always been blessed with a board that values our mission and pushes us to achieve our vision,” says Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep. “We are grateful for the volunteers that have led us to this point with such care, and we are certain that our new trustees will contribute to the deliberations that challenge us to do our best work.”

The officers of Berkeley Rep’s board, elected to one-year terms, are as follows:

  • President: Marjorie Randolph, retired senior vice president of Walt Disney Studios
  • Executive Vice President: Thalia Dorwick, PhD, retired editor-in-chief of McGraw-Hill Higher Education
  • Vice President: Helen Meyer, co-founder and executive vice president of Meyer Sound
  • Vice President: Richard M. Shapiro, partner at Farella Braun + Martel LLP
  • Treasurer: Emily Shanks, regional executive for small business at Bank of America NA
  • Secretary: Scott Haber, partner at Latham & Watkins LLP
  • Chair of the Audit Committee: Pamela Nichter, chief financial officer, chief operating officer, and vice president of Osterweis Capital Management
  • Chair of the Trustees Committee: Roger Strauch, chairman of The Roda Group

These leaders extend a hearty welcome to four new trustees who have stepped forward for the upcoming season:

  • Steve Buster, president and CEO of Mechanics Bank
  • Martha E. Conte, consultant
  • Robin Edwards, retired partner at SNR Denton US LLP
  • Jill Fugaro, retired CEO and founder of Murlin Apparel Group, Inc.

They are part of a team that totals 28 trustees, including the following eminent local citizens:

  • Carrie Avery, president of the Durfee Foundation
  • William T. Espey, vice president and senior relationship manager at Mechanics Bank
  • William Falik, managing partner of Westpark Associates
  • Lisa Finer, senior vice president and regional manager for Wells Fargo
  • David Fleishhacker, president of the Fleishhacker Foundation
  • Kerry L. Francis, chairman of Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP
  • Paul T. Friedman, partner at Morrison Foerster LLP
  • David Hoffman, PhD, consulting professor of mathematics at Stanford University
  • Carole S. Krumland, director of the Harold & Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust
  • Dale Rogers Marshall, president emerita of Wheaton College
  • Julie M. McCray, community leader
  • Susan Medak, managing director of Berkeley Rep
  • Jack Schafer, president of Jack Schafer Associates
  • Jean Z. Strunsky, vice president of administration for the Ira and Leonore Gershwin Trusts
  • Tony Taccone, artistic director of Berkeley Rep

With the help of these dedicated volunteers, the curtain is rising on another year of inventive and intelligent plays. Berkeley Rep’s 45th season kicks off in August with the West Coast premiere of Chinglish from Tony Award-winner David Henry Hwang and two-time Obie-winner Leigh Silverman. In October, Obie-winner Lisa Peterson delivers a visceral new version of An Iliad, and then Tony-winning director Mary Zimmerman gives the Bay Area a beautiful gift for the holidays with The White Snake. Dan LeFranc greets the New Year with the exuberant world premiere of Troublemaker, or The Freakin Kick-A Adventures of Bradley Boatright. Next Pulitzer Prize-winner Lawrence Wright teams up with legendary director Gregory Mosher for the world premiere of Fallaci before Berkeley Rep brings the Bard back with a bang in Mark Wing-Davey’s production of Pericles, Prince of Tyre. Finally, in May, two beloved collaborators – Sarah Ruhl and Les Waters – reunite for the West Coast premiere of Dear Elizabeth. This entire experience is supported by BART and Wells Fargo, who have generously renewed their commitment as Berkeley Rep’s official season sponsors

Known for its core values of imagination and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, Berkeley Repertory Theatre has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists since 1968. In four decades, four million people have enjoyed more than 300 shows at Berkeley Rep. These shows have gone on to win five Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, and many other honors. In recognition of its place on the national stage, Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997. Its bustling facilities – which include the 400-seat Thrust Stage, the 600-seat Roda Theatre, the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre, the Osher Studio, and a spacious new campus in West Berkeley – are helping revitalize a renowned city.

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