THE HUNTINGTON’S FOUNDING MANAGING DIRECTOR MICHAEL MASO TO STEP DOWN IN JUNE 2023
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THE HUNTINGTON’S FOUNDING MANAGING DIRECTOR MICHAEL MASO TO STEP DOWN IN JUNE 2023
The Huntington’s Board of Trustees announces
transition plan and opens a national search for a new executive
(BOSTON) – Chairman Randy Peeler and President Neal Balkowitsch, on behalf of The Huntington’s Board of Trustees, announce today that founding Managing Director Michael Maso will step down from the leadership role he has held at the company for over 40 years at the end of this season – his 41st as managing director – on June 30, 2023. Maso will remain on as a senior advisor and executive consultant to The Huntington, ensuring a smooth transition process for the company.
“Michael Maso is the only managing director The Huntington has ever known, and we have been incredibly fortunate to have his visionary leadership for these many years,” says Chairman Randy Peeler. “He leaves an indelible mark on The Huntington as an organization, the broader arts community, the city of Boston, and the national theatre community.”
This transition is the result of a strategic, multi-year, succession planning process led by members of The Huntington’s Board of Trustees in partnership with Maso, and is structured to provide transparency to the process and continuity and stability to the company. The Board has engaged consultants AlbertHall&Associates to lead a national search for a new executive leader to partner with Artistic Director Loretta Greco in planning and stewarding The Huntington’s future.
While Maso had long intended to step down at the end of last season, he agreed to extend his full-time tenure for a year at the urging of Greco and Board leadership in order to work with Greco in her first season as artistic director.
“Michael Maso has been the heart and soul of The Huntington for a remarkable 40 years,” says Greco. “Getting to work with him over the past year has been a dream, and one of the reasons that I so passionately wanted to become a part of this community. As he passes the baton to a new managing director, I’m delighted that we’ll continue to collaborate after his full-time tenure ends.”
This announcement comes after Maso led the transformational renovation and successful reopening of the historic Huntington Theatre in October 2022, the culmination of a seven-year trajectory that included the sale of the theatre on the open market and the COVID shutdown of the theatre industry in 2020. Maso also led The Huntington’s ten-year effort to build the Calderwood Pavilion in Boston’s South End in 2004, creating a vital creative hub for Boston’s cultural community which provides first-class facilities and critical services to dozens of local performing arts organizations each year.
Maso’s new advisory role will involve special projects and continued fundraising and planning for phase two of The Huntington Theatre renovation and expansion. He also plans to travel, write, and consult for other non-profit organizations.
“It has been a profound honor and deep privilege to serve as The Huntington’s Managing Director for over 40 years,” says Maso. “I can’t overstate how much pleasure I have derived from working with so many to bring such unadulterated joy, such compassion and understanding, to so many for all these years. I’m grateful to the thousands of dedicated artists, staff members, colleagues, and board members who have enriched my life, and to the theatre lovers and generous donors who have sustained The Huntington, as together we have built The Huntington and the broader cultural community we love. It has been a privilege I will treasure always.”
As the company’s original and only managing director, Maso is one of the longest-serving executives in American theatre today – no other arts leader in recent Boston history has had such an extensive or successful tenure. Under Maso’s leadership, The Huntington has grown from an in-house department of Boston University with an annual budget of $700,000 and a staff of 28, to Boston’s flagship, independent, non-profit professional theatre with a current budget of $20 million, assets of over $90 million, and a full-time staff of 125, performing in two major venues and housed in a campus of 4 different locations.
Maso has collaborated with four Huntington artistic directors to produce over 260 productions (18 of which went on to Broadway or Off Broadway), turning The Huntington into Boston’s leading professional theatre, a pillar of the Boston arts community, and one of the region’s premier cultural assets. Known for his wry wit (and for being a mensch), Maso has served as a trusted mentor and advisor to hundreds of arts administrators and smaller theatre companies in Boston and across the US. During his tenure, The Huntington has received over 150 Elliot Norton and Independent Reviewers of New England Awards, as well as the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, and has played to an audience of 3.5 million, serving over 500,000 students, community members, other cultural organizations, and the broader community at large.
As Maso takes on a senior consultant role, The Huntington looks forward to welcoming a new executive leader in summer 2023. All interested candidates should apply through AlbertHall&Associates (more information and a job profile can be found at alberthallassociates.com/opportunities).
ABOUT MANAGING DIRECTOR MICHAEL MASO
Michael Maso has led The Huntington’s administrative and financial operations as managing director since 1982. He has produced more than 260 productions in partnership with four artistic directors and is one of the most well-regarded executives in the theatre industry.
Under his tenure, The Huntington has received over 150 Elliot Norton and Independent Reviewers of New England Awards, as well as the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. He received the 2016 Massachusetts Nonprofit Network’s Lifetime Achievement Award, as well as TCG’s 2012 Theatre Practitioner Award, The Huntington’s 2012 Wimberly Award, StageSource’s 2010 Theatre Hero Award, the 2005 Commonwealth Award (the state’s highest arts honor) in the category of Catalyst, and the 2000 Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. In 2004 the Boston Herald honored him as Theatre Man of the Year. Maso led The Huntington’s ten-year drive to build the Stanford Calderwood Pavilion at the Boston Center for the Arts, which opened in September 2004, and is currently leading the redevelopment and transformational renovation of The Huntington Theatre. He currently serves on the Boston Cultural Planning Steering Committee and previously served as a member of the board for ArtsBoston, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), and StageSource, and as a site visitor, panelist, and panel chairman for the National Endowment for the Arts.
From 1997 to 2005 Maso served as the president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), an association of 75 of the country’s major not-for-profit professional theatres. In 2005, he was named as one of a dozen members of the inaugural class of the Barr Fellows Program. Prior to The Huntington, he served as the managing director of Alabama Shakespeare Festival, general manager of New York’s Roundabout Theatre Company, business manager for PAF Playhouse on Long Island, and as an independent arts management consultant based in Taos, New Mexico.
ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON
Celebrating 40 years of outstanding theatre, The Huntington is Boston’s theatrical commons and leading professional theatre company. On our stages and throughout our city, we share enduring and untold stories that spark the imagination of audiences and artists and amplify the wide range of voices in our community. Committed to welcoming broad and diverse audiences, The Huntington provides life-changing opportunities for students through its robust education and community programs, is a national leader in the development of playwrights and new plays, acts as the host organization for a multi-year residency of The Front Porch Arts Collective, a Black theatre company based in Boston, and serves the local arts community through our operation of The Huntington Calderwood/BCA. Under the leadership of Norma Jean Calderwood Artistic Director Loretta Greco and Managing Director Michael Maso, The Huntington reopened the historic Huntington Theatre this fall after its transformational renovation; a storied venue with a bold vision for the future, the project will allow us to innovatively expand our services to audiences, artists, and the community for generations to come. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org.
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