Michigan's BoarsHead Theater Snags Respected Director Geoffrey Sherman to Run the Show

News   Michigan's BoarsHead Theater Snags Respected Director Geoffrey Sherman to Run the Show The BoarsHead Theater, one of Michigan's oldest resident theatres, in the state capital of Lansing, announced Geoffrey Sherman as the new artistic director, effective November 2003.

Sherman, 54, is the British-born director who served as the artistic director of Michigan's largest LORT house, the 600-seat Meadow Brook Theatre, 1995-99, but left when he felt the administration there didn't have faith in his programming. While there, he tried to steer the company away from murder mysteries and Neil Simon revivals by bringing in plays by Tom Stoppard and Tony Kushner.

Sherman will share the title of artistic director with BoarsHead Theater co-founder John Peakes beginning in November 2003. Peakes and his wife, managing director Judith Peakes, plan to retire to Philadelphia in January 2004. BoarsHead seats 250.

"I am delighted to be taking over such a gem as the BoarsHead Theater," Sherman said in a statement. "While I was artistic director at the Meadow Brook Theatre, I looked west with envy at the forward-looking artistic policy that John Peakes was following."

Born and raised in England, Sherman became a United States citizen last summer. In addition to his work at Meadow Brook Theatre, Sherman directed the 2001 award-winning drama The Old Settler at BoarsHead Theater, he has also worked with Detroit's Plowshares Theatre Company and the Jewish Ensemble Theatre.

Sherman has also served as a guest director at more than 40 theaters on both sides of the Atlantic including England's Redgrave and Crucible Theatres, the Seattle Repertory Theatre and Milwaukee Repertory Theatre. Meanwhile, at Meadow Brook, Sherman's successor, Debra Wicks, quit the theatre for personal reasons in late 2002 and the theatre is now run by "artistic advisor" Tony Schmidt, a professor-director formerly of the Hilberry Theatre.

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According to the company's website, www.boarshead.org, "BoarsHead Theater is Mid-Michigan's only professional theater. Started in 1966 in a large barn in Fitzgerald Park in Grand Ledge as a summer stock company by John Peakes and Richard Thomsen, it became a year round theater company in 1970 and moved its winter quarters into a converted church on River Street in Grand Ledge.

"In 1975, they moved into their present home in Lansing's Center for the Arts on the corner of Grand and Lenawee in downtown Lansing.

"BoarsHead is nationally acclaimed for producing new plays and renowned for its top-quality productions, with many award winning performances and productions and for its very innovative and comprehensive Education and Outreach Programs."

The 2002-2003 season is the theatre's 37th.