Brett Smock Joins Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival
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by BWW News Desk
Brett Smock has joined the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival as general manager and associate artistic director. In this role, Smock will work with Producing Director Ed Sayles and assume the responsibilities currently assigned to the interim managing director, while placing a particular emphasis on talent negotiations, cost control and new play development. Smock is based in New York City. He is a well-known creative producer, director and choreographer within the theater industry with a special interest in developing new plays and musicals.
“I’ve known Brett for many years and look forward to him joining our organization in a full-time capacity,” said Ed Sayles, producing director of the Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival and Merry-Go-Round Playhouse. “Brett brings a fresh energy to the organization that will help to continue the Festival’s success.”
Smock’s position places equal emphasis on artistic, technical and financial operations. He shares the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse’s corporate philosophy of striving for the highest levels of artistic accomplishment while keeping costs strictly in line. This approach has been and will continue to be the key to The Playhouse’s continued growth and success.
“Ed Sayles invested in me as a young artist and gave me opportunities in my early professional career that allowed me to hone my skills and grow personally and professionally,” said Smock. “I’m honored to return the investment as an artistic administrator, helping Ed to realize his terrific vision for the theater.”
Smock is familiar to Central New York audiences and has a lengthy history with the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse as a director and choreographer for more than 32 productions since 1992, including last season’s highly praised production, “Cabaret.” Throughout his career, Smock has directed and/or choreographed more than 80 shows across the country. He has held adjunct faculty positions at several universities and also served as personal business and creative liaison for a celebrity CEO/private equity firm in New York City. He is currently involved with five shows in development, including “The Mudge Boy,” a new musical that recently had a reading in New York City, and “Treasure Island,” a new musical that will have its world premiere in March at Arkansas Repertory Theatre, where Smock is the director, choreographer and book co-writer.
Smock was born in Hawaii and grew up overseas with stays in Paris, Berlin, Libya, Pakistan, Israel and Singapore. He holds a bachelor’s degree in theater from American University in Washington, D.C. He is also an alumnus of the Directors Lab at Lincoln Center Theater and is a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Actors’ Equity Association and the Dramatists Guild of America. Smock has also staged promotional works for a number of major corporations around the world, working with, among others, John Lithgow, Linda Eder, Barbara Mandrell, Dionne Warwick, and Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival has an exciting lineup for the 2013 season. Productions include “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Legally Blonde: The Musical,” “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” “Cats,” “Hank Williams: Lost Highway,” “The Great American Trailer Park Musical,” “Neurosis: The Musical,” and another season of “The PiTCH.” With the exception of “Singin’ in the Rain,” none of these shows have been produced by The Playhouse before.
About Merry-Go-Round Playhouse and Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival:
The Finger Lakes Musical Theatre Festival, produced by the Merry-Go-Round Playhouse in Auburn, N.Y., is a new annual summer-long festival featuring professional musical productions along with new musicals, presented in their earliest stages of development, in a series known as “The PiTCH.” The festival offers productions at three different venues just minutes away from each other. As the festival continues to grow in the upcoming years, organizers anticipate the festival to annually draw 150,000 attendees, generate a $30 million boost to the local economy and help create 400 new jobs. For more information on the festival or to purchase tickets, visit