The Erie Playhouse Announces New Executive Director for the 101st Season of Live Theatre in Erie, PA

Kate Neubert-Lechner is the new Executive Director for the start of the Erie Playhouse’s second century of live theatre. On September 1, 2017, Kate will lead the Playhouse, one of Erie’s respected lead assets and arts organizations, beginning with the theatre’s 101st Season.

Kate has been part of the Playhouse Family for over 33 years as performer, choreographer, director, and teacher. In 2014, she was hired as the Youtheatre and Education Director. Under her leadership, the Youtheatre Program has grown in participants and quality of productions. One of the most successful programs beyond the Playhouse 10th Street address has been the development and growth of PLAYtime, a multi-year, pre-school program where Imagination Library books are brought to life in the classroom with educational theatre games, developing a love of reading and helping our children become reading-ready by third grade.

Playhouse Executive Director Almitra Clerkin, who will end her 25-year tenure at the Playhouse this August, is ecstatic about the board’s decision to hire Kate. “Kate’s passion for the Playhouse is in her DNA. She has the desired skill set and the willingness to continue to learn. She will lead our staff, volunteers and supporters, working tirelessly to keep the Playhouse in its place as a premier theatre and collaborative partner with the arts, culture, civic, nonprofit, and private sectors.” 

For over two years, the Playhouse Succession Committee has planned a search for the Playhouse’s new leader. In the past five months, the Playhouse received 80 applications from across the nation and the three final candidates, from Kansas, Texas, and Erie, participated in a two-day interview process. The Board of Directors voted Monday, February 27 and Kate was announced as Executive Director at the 101st Season Launch Party on Tuesday, February 28, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of over 400 patrons, volunteers, donors, community leaders, board and staff.

“It is with great pride that I will honor the Playhouse legacy and propel us into the next century,” says Neubert-Lechner. “The Playhouse will continue to lead the charge to make performing arts a part of the lives of every group in our community, providing positive change and enrichment to all, especially those who need it the most.”

The mission of the Erie Playhouse is to enrich the greater Erie Region by providing life-long opportunities to participate in quality theatre.

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