The Austin Chronicle

Personnel Department: New Hires at Conspirare and the Mary Moody Northen Theatre

By Robert Faires, February 16, 2007, Arts

The personnel changes at local arts organizations continue. In addition to the recently announced departures of Ann Ciccolella at Zach and Richard Buckley and Tamara Hale at Austin Lyric Opera, two notable arrivals have taken place at Conspirare and the Mary Moody Northen Theatre. The Grammy-nominated company of voices has hired its first-ever executive director, Erich Vollmer, who comes to Austin from the Santa Fe Desert Chorale, where he's served as executive director since 2004. Vollmer's 20 years in the performing-arts industry also included a three-year stint as president and CEO of the Caramoor Center for Music in Katonah, N.Y.; six years as executive director for the Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival; two years with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra; and nine years with the Philharmonic Society of Orange County. He joins the company March 19. Meanwhile, over at St. Edward's University, Michelle Polgar is the new business manager for the Mary Moody Northen Theatre. This comes just a few months after Polgar was laid off as artistic director of the State Theatre in the wake of the disastrous flood in the space last summer and resulting shutdown of operations. She had been at the State since 2000, serving as assistant artistic director to Scott Kanoff prior to her appointment as his successor in 2005. Earlier, she served as executive director of Artists' Legal and Accounting Assistance of Austin and managing director of the Public Domain Theatre, which she co-founded with husband (and Chronicle contributor) Robi Polgar in 1993. She has also directed numerous productions for the stage. At MMNT, Polgar succeeds Annie Suite, who leaves after nine years as theatre business manager. She plans to start her own business (and do more acting again, we hope). MMNT's current production, Macbeth, runs through Feb. 25, Wednesday-Saturday, 7:30pm, Sunday, 2pm. For more information, call 448-8484.

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