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JRT remains without new artistic director

With the departure of Johnathan McCarter from the artistic director role at the Jonesborough Repertory Theatre earlier this year, town leaders thought they had found a replacement in Carmen Mandley.
While Mandley is still expected to assume the role, her plans to take over last month have been put on hold, forcing the town to find a temporary solution to the the lack of leadership at the JRT.
Mandley reportedly will be unable to start in the artistic director role until March or April of next year due to a health issue.
After learning of the hiccup in planning, Jonesborough Mayor Kelly Wolfe agreed to appoint Christy Vance as interim artistic director as well as Cassidy Taylor to serve as Vance’s assistant.
Those emergency appointments were expected to be officially approved at the Dec. 12 meeting of the Board of Mayor and Aldermen.
Vance, who has previous experience as an artistic director and served as an educational director for the Kingsport Theatre Guild, agreed to take over the duties of artistic director on a temporary, full-time basis until Mandley is able to come to Jonesborough.
The town is paying Vance $1,500 per month to serve as the interim artistic director. Taylor, who has directed and acted in JRT shows, is being paid $500 per month to assist Vance. The total payment is equivalent to what Mandley would be paid if she were serving in the role.
According to town leaders, Vance is already doing a “tremendous job” and has improved both the operation and morale of the theater.
In her report to the BMA, Vance calls the JRT a “treasure” for the Jonesborough community.
“I am blessed and thrilled to be a part of it, especially during this time of transition,” Vance writes. “I understand that transitions can be difficult. My goal is to help make this transition a positive and exciting time for everyone. I hope to make Carmen Mandley’s arrival smooth and easy for her and everyone at the JRT.”