Marcus Cato Announces Retirement

DECEMBER 20, 2011

Marcus Cato to Retire from Shakespeare Santa Cruz

Longtime managing director announces departure;
SSC marketing director to assume position.

SANTA CRUZ, CA – Shakespeare Santa Cruz announced today that the Company’s managing director, Marcus Cato, will retire after twenty five years of service to the company. Kyle Clausen, current SSC marketing and public relations director, will assume the managing director role while continuing his marketing and pr duties.

Said Cato about his retirement, “This is a bittersweet decision for me. After twenty five years with Shakespeare Santa Cruz, I’m ready to pursue other opportunities, including acting, traveling with my wife and working on a screenplay that I began many years ago.” He continued, “I will miss Shakespeare Santa Cruz profoundly, especially its staff, artists, audience members, and community supporters. At the same time, I feel this is the right time for a leadership transition. Marco Barricelli [SSC’s artistic director since 2008] is a tremendous artistic leader who brings vision, strength, and stability to the organization, and Arts Dean David Yager has created a very supportive environment for us to work in.”

According to Barricelli, “Marcus has been an integral part of this company since its founding, and has been an invaluable partner to me in my first three seasons as artistic director; he will be greatly missed, but I look forward to continuing the work that we’ve begun.”

Cato began his career at SSC as an actor, performing the roles of Demetrius in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Edgar in King Lear in the inaugural 1982 season. He then served as production manager from 1985 – 2001, and has served as managing director since 2001. Cato’s accomplishments at SSC include securing the company’s first grant from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2004, as well as eight subsequent NEA grants. Cato was also instrumental in adding the annual Holiday Show – a co-production with the UCSC Theater Arts Department – to the SSC calendar in 1997, and in leading efforts to add a lighting system to the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen that preserved the natural, rustic appeal of the Festival Glen. Prior to the addition of this unique lighting system in 1988, SSC only performed matinées.

In addition to his work at SSC, Cato served as Treasurer for the Shakespeare Association of America (2005-2006), an association of more than 120 Shakespeare Festivals in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, and South Africa, and has served on the Board of the Santa Cruz Conference and Visitor’s Council since 2006. Previously, he was associate director and managing director of Tandy Beal & Company (1984 – 1989), as well as acting and serving as community programs director with Bear Republic Theater (1974 – 1984).

Cato will retire effective March 1, 2011; Kyle Clausen, SSC marketing and public relations director, will assume the managing director role immediately upon Cato’s retirement, while continuing with his marketing and pr duties. Clausen joined the SSC staff in February 2010 to oversee the Company’s marketing, communications, and sales strategy. His first season saw across-the-board increases in ticket sales and attendance, including a nearly 50% increase in subscribers. Previously, he held positions in theatre administration with Mixed Blood Theatre and Children’s Theatre Company, both of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Clausen will continue to oversee marketing and communications, and will also be responsible for budget and planning, grant writing, union relations, general administration, and liaising with the University of California, Santa Cruz, SSC’s parent organization.

“I am thrilled to be working with Kyle Clausen,” said Barricelli. “His knowledge of theatre on a national level will continue to be a tremendous asset to the organization, and he also brings a fresh and critical eye to our operations. He is a thoughtful, articulate leader and will be a terrific spokesman for SSC among our various constituencies.”

Founded in 1981, Shakespeare Santa Cruz is a professional repertory theatre company in residence at the Theater Arts Department in the Arts Division at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Plays are held indoors on the UCSC Theater Arts Mainstage and outdoors among the redwoods in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen. Bringing in professional actors, directors and designers from throughout the country, the Company's season runs from mid-July through August and features three to four plays presented in repertory. The company is led by artistic director Marco Barricelli and managing director Marcus Cato. Shakespeare Santa Cruz will announce its 2011, 30th Anniversary, season on February 1, 2011.

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