Lyric Arts Main Street Stage has announced that Scott Ford and Robert Neu have been appointed Resident Directors beginning with the 2012-13 season. These newly created positions will work closely with the leadership of the Anoka-based theater in helping to shape the company’s artistic future and growth. In addition, Ford and Neu will each direct two productions during the season and will serve as mentors to guest directors. “Lyric Arts will continue to be a place where artistic decisions are made collaboratively with significant amounts of input from audiences, actors, designers, directors, and other members of our community,” according to Managing Director Laura Tahja Johnson.
“Lyric Arts is a small organization whose growth has been exponential during its short, 17-year history,” remarked Tahja Johnson. “We are excited to be able to rely on some of our highly-respected directors who bring a wealth of knowledge to the organization and will be able to help us take on some of the ‘heavy lifting,’ artistically speaking.”
As part of a two-year commitment, Resident Directors will add a new dimension to the artistic viability of the organization. They will serve as mentors to directors who are new to the organization and provide input to the theater in the areas of artistic vision and direction, as the theater works to build its reputation as an emerging company in the Twin Cities theater community.
“Ultimately the resident director program is about serving the audience by empowering the artists,” said Ford. “One of the objectives of the Resident Director program will be to provide a unified artistic vision and approach for the entire season.”
Ford went on to say, “I have deep roots in this area and have always felt that Lyric Arts is an invaluable asset to the community. It will be rewarding to have a more active role in an organization I have long valued.”
“Scott [Ford], the leadership of Lyric Arts, and I hold a common vision and harbor the same hopes and dreams for the artistic future of the organization,” said Neu.
“From the day I interviewed at Lyric Arts, I felt a commitment to theater, a joy for working in the arts, and a dedicated work ethic,” Neu continued. “Commitment, joy, and hard work are ingredients for a recipe that I want to be a part of. I have seen those positive characteristics grow and develop over the past several years and that invigorates me every time I walk into Lyric Arts.”
Full programming for Lyric Arts 2012–2013 season will be announced later this month.
About Scott Ford
Scott Ford has directed and performed in the Twin Cities for over 25 years. He earned his MA from Illinois State University and received additional graduate training in Theatre at New York University and the University of Minnesota. He taught at Bradley University in Illinois and Minnesota State University at Mankato before taking his current position as a Teaching Professor in Theatre and Speech at Anoka-Ramsey Community College. He has directed more than 30 productions for the college including Hormel Girls, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Twelfth Night, The Crucible and Anatomy of Gray. Ford has directed Over the River and Through the Woods, Doubt, A Parable, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof for Lyric Arts.
About Robert Neu
Robert Neu has directed Leading Ladies, Oliver!, Almost, Maine, and The Sound of Music for Lyric Arts. His work has also been seen in Cincinnati, Virginia, New York and West Virginia. For the Minnesota Orchestra, he has directed productions of Candide, Fidelio, Tosca starring Deborah Voigt, Carmen, La Boheme, Peer Gynt (for which he also co-wrote the adaptation), Bernstein’s Mass, Hansel and Gretel and La Traviata. In the Twin Cities area, he has directed for New Breath Productions, Phipps Center for the Arts, St. Cloud’s Paramount Theatre, and Skylark Opera. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Neu teaches master classes in audition techniques for the University of Minnesota’s Opera Department.