Claussen will begin her stint in the newly created position in October. She comes to the New Jersey theatre from Chicago's Court Theatre, where she has been the executive director since 1998. She was also the managing director of New Jersey's George Street Playhouse from 1991-1997. In a statement, Paper Mill's Gennaro said, "I am truly excited to have Diane join Paper Mill in a newly created position and to become part of our talented and dedicated staff of theatre professionals. Diane brings a wealth of experience from several organizations and a full knowledge of the theatre community in New Jersey which will allow her to make an immediate impact on business operations. I am proud to bring her on board since I originally hired her at George Street Playhouse and recommended her for the job at Court Theatre and she has clearly proven to be an exceptional theatre manager."
Claussen added, "I am thrilled both to be returning to New Jersey and to be joining my mentor Michael Gennaro at the Paper Mill Playhouse in the newly created position of managing director. Almost since the first moment when I met Michael 15 years ago at George Street Playhouse in a job interview, I have admired and been inspired by Michael's vision, dedication and numerous successes as a theatre producer. There is no one in the national not-for profit theatre industry who I would rather work for and with at this moment and I feel incredibly lucky to have been offered this 'once-in-a-lifetime' career opportunity. I'm so excited to be joining the professional staff and artists at Paper Mill, and I look forward to becoming a significant part of Michael's team dedicated, in large part, to the preservation and creation of the American musical."
The Paper Mill Playhouse is located on Brookside Drive in Millburn, NJ. Call (973) 376-4343 for more information or visit www.papermill.org.