The 43-year-old regional theatre appointed Hughes to the post previously held by Susan Trapnell, who will now serve as executive director of endowment fundraising.
Hughes led his own public affairs firm since 1998. Prior to that, he was managing director of Seattle's former Empty Space Theatre (1981-1985) and worked at ACT in the box office as assistant controller. He was in the acting ensemble at Pennsylvania's Hedgerow Theater, where he also served as general manager for three years.
"I couldn't ask for a better partner," said ACT artistic director Kurt Beattie in a statement. "Kevin understands the challenges of today's arts organization; that, combined with his passion for the art form and for ACT, will strengthen our ability to generate revenue that supports the mission of this theatre."
Hughes stated in the announcement, "I am thrilled to be returning to the theatre and, specifically, to ACT. Kurt Beattie is an extraordinary artist, the staff is equally talented and ACT's multi-faceted building is one of the best arts facilities in our region."
The post was opened to submissions in July and the search committee chair received more than 50 applications from around the country. ACT currently presents Clare Boothe Luce's The Women (through Dec. 16). The company recently announced its 2008 mainstage season, which will feature The Ilkhom Theatre Festival — with White White Black Stork and Ecstasy with the Pomegranate (March 14-April 13, 2008), Michael Bradford's Fathers and Sons (April 25-May 25, 2008), A Marvelous Party: The Noel Coward Celebration (June 13-July 13, 2008), Alan Ayckbourn's Intimate Exchanges (Aug. 15-Sept. 14, 2008), Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice (Sept. 5-Oct. 5, 2008) and Steven Dietz's Becky's New Car (Oct. 17-Nov. 16, 2008).
ACT is located at 700 Union Street in downtown Seattle and online at acttheatre.org.