John Hedges, after successfully serving as Executive Director of Weathervane Playhouse since 2007, has announced to the Weathervane Board of Trustees that he has accepted the position of Executive Director of the Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre in Indianapolis, Indiana.
During his tenure at Weathervane, Mr. Hedges has grown the theatre’s audience base by 24% to reach an all-time high, increased total revenue by 31% while increasing individual contributions by 57%. With the endorsement of Academy Award-winner Olympia Dukakis, John spearheaded the theatre’s 2009 Capital Campaign which expanded and renovated the facility, and in 2010 he began a Guest Director Series with Tony Award-winner Michael Rupert. During the 2009-10 Season he co-produce the landmark drama The Great White Hope with Karamu House and Ensemble Theatre of Cleveland, which garnered Weathervane its first-ever press coverage by American Theatre magazine, and in 2011 he co-produced the new musical Shine in collaboration with Mainstreet Musicals in New York City with TV star Hal Linden.
Current Board President Michael Gaffney said, “We are grateful for John’s seven years of outstanding leadership to this theatre. It’s been said one should strive to leave a place better off than it was when you arrived. John Hedges’ tenure at Weathervane was a resounding success. He led the $1 million capital campaign and the subsequent expansion of our lobby; he has increased the visibility and image of Weathervane throughout the community; and the quality of this theatre’s productions are consistently among the best in the region.”
In commenting on his departure, John said, “It has been a privilege to be a part of the renaissance of Weathervane Playhouse these last seven years. This theatre is poised to be a significant contributor to the quality of life here in Akron for many years to come. As I welcome this new opportunity to return to the city where I grew up and began my theatrical career some 40 years ago, I do so knowing there will always be a special place in my heart for Weathervane and Akron, Ohio.”
The Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre (formerly known as the Indianapolis Civic Theatre) is currently celebrating its 100th Anniversary and is considered to be the nation’s longest continuously operating community theatre. Housed in the state-of-the-art, 500-seat Tarkington Theatre on the campus of the new Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel, Indiana (voted by Forbes magazine as the number one place to raise a family in the United States), it is the largest community theatre in the state of Indiana and one of the ten largest of over 7,000 community theatres in the country.
Shortly following the announcement of Mr. Hedges's new position in Indiana, Weathervane Playhouse's Board of Trustees named Janis Harcar as the theater's Interim Executive Director and appointed Ian Haberman to serve as Interim Artistic Director.
► CLICK HERE to read the Sept. 1 Akron Beacon Journal article about this news.