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JRT in search of new artistic director

The Jonesborough Repertory Theatre is once again in the market for an artistic director.
Current director Christy Alaska Vance has submitted her resignation from the post.
Vance, who has held the position at the JRT since February, gave three-months notice, but says she will stay on even longer if needed, according to Town Administrator and JRT board member Bob Browning.
“She did a really good job and connected with people,” Browning said of Vance’s time as artistic director. “It’s not an issue with anyone being unhappy and everyone wants her to stay. It’s a personal thing for her.”
Vance’s selection as director came in a somewhat roundabout way. She was named the JRT’s new artistic director after having served as interim director for several months. The original choice for the position postponed her move to Jonesborough and later withdrew from her selection due to health problems.
By then, Vance, 30, had already proven herself. The first play under her leadership, “Best Christmas Pageant Ever” generated more than $9,000 in revenue.
Members of the JRT Board voted unanimously to recommend the Jonesborough Board of Mayor and Aldermen hire her permanently, saying that she had already had a “tremendously positive impact” on the theater’s operation.
“She was willing to do it,” Browning said, “but she didn’t come in with the intention of taking it on a long-term basis.”
As the job is being advertised, members of the JRT Board are discussing ways to redefine the job in order to “take some of the pressure off that position.”
“There is certainly a burn-out component,” Browning said. “When you’re at the theater ‘til 10 or 11 at night and then taking phone calls starting at 9 a.m. in the morning, it can be a roadblock to having a personal life.
“We’ve talked about the way to make the job more accommodating. We don’t want to have a continual problem with this and we’re doing things now that offer more support to the artistic director.”
For now, Vance will remain with the JRT, directing the upcoming play, “It’s A Wonderful Life.”
In the meantime, Browning said the JRT board is hoping to go through the interview process and have someone on board close to Dec. 1 so that individual with have a month to work with Vance.
Browning is optimistic that a good candidate for the position will found.
“We’re hopeful we can find someone to help us continue the success. We’ve been fortunate to have been able to maintain the quality of the shows,” he said. “After all, this is Jonesborough. The good Lord takes care of us.”