Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival Names New Producing Artistic Director

News   Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival Names New Producing Artistic Director
A new producing artistic director has been named for The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse, located in Auburn, NY.

After 33 years Ed Sayles will step down, leaving the position to Brett Smock, the director-choreographer who is currently the general manager and associate artistic director of the Festival.

“I was fortunate to witness and contribute to the growth and expansion that occurred here throughout the ‘90s under Ed’s leadership,” said Smock in a statement. “To embrace the next phase of growth and leadership is an honor, and I’m humbled to be following in his very big shoes.”

Smock began his tenure with the MGR Playhouse 22 years ago, appearing as a dancer in the 1992 and '93 seasons. He became a choreographer in 1994 and a director/choreographer in 1996 before being named general manager/associate artistic director in 2012. Smock also has three new musicals in commercial development, including Treasure Island.

In related news, Lisa Myers will assume the title of artistic director of the MGR Youth Theatre. Myers has also grown from within the organization, having started as an actor with the Youth Theatre. She then graduated to coordinator and then to associate producer.

Sayles expressed his “complete confidence” in both Smock and Myers to carry on the “culture of quality that has been created at the Playhouse.” “Ed Sayles has made a profound and lasting impression on this community, theater patrons and the staff and actors of the Playhouse and Festival for more than three decades,” said Bob Simmons, president of the board of directors for the MGR Playhouse, in a statement. “He transformed a small theater into a prominent entertainment venue for people across the region to enjoy, started an original theater festival and has helped hundreds of aspiring artists along the way. In recognition of that, we have named him producing director emeritus and will be honoring him and his achievements at our Fall Gala.”

For information about the 2014 season or to purchase tickets, visit

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