Preston Whiteway, Age 25, to Head Eugene O’Neill Theater Center

News   Preston Whiteway, Age 25, to Head Eugene O’Neill Theater Center Preston Whiteway, the general manager of Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, will take over as executive director of the Waterford, CT, complex at the age of 25, the company announced Jan. 17.
Preston Whiteway
Preston Whiteway

Amy Sullivan, who has held the position, will be stepping down due to health reasons but is expected to continue her relationship as a consultant. The change is effective immediately.

"We are extremely grateful for Amy Sullivan's dedicated service to the O'Neill during her three years as executive director," stated O'Neill Center chairman of the board Tom Viertel. "Under her leadership, the O'Neill has been able to expand its Conference programs and its National Theater Institute training initiatives while achieving greater fundraising goals and increasing its institutional capacity to support the artists whose talents we support through our mission."

The company also cited an increase in organizational stability and the selection of a new artistic director for the National Playwrights Conference during Sullivan's tenure.

Whiteway, who has served as general manager since June 2004 (at age 22), worked closely with Sullivan on organizational and program initiatives throughout his tenure. The Duke University graduate earned his Bachelor's degree in Economics and served as the chair of Broadway at Duke. While at the Durham, NC, school, he was mentored by producer Manny Azenberg and Zannie Voss. He also worked with the O'Neill Playwrights Conference artistic director Wendy C. Goldberg at Washington, D.C.'s Arena Stage in 2003.

"I am honored and thrilled that the Board has asked me to take on the responsibilities of the executive director position," Whiteway said. "My close working relationship with Amy Sullivan, the Board, our artists, our funders and audience has prepared me for this new position. With the support of the Board and the staff, I am confident we will work together to meet the organization's short-term and long-term goals. I remain eternally grateful to Amy for all she has done for the O'Neill; it is a stronger institution because of her. I look forward to continuing to work with her in her new role." Whiteway follows in the steps of O'Neill founder and long-time executive director George White, who himself was 27 years old when he began his work for the company.

The Center, founded in 1964 and based in Waterford, CT, boasts programs including the Puppetry Conference, Playwrights Conference, Critics Institute, Music Theater Conference and the National Theater Institute. The Monte Cristo Cottage, O'Neill's childhood home, is also owned and operated by the group.

For more information, call (860) 443-5378 or visit the website at www.theoneill.org.

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