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Returning to manage at TBT

TBT Managing Director Molly Stricker and Artistic Director Jeffrey Mindock

Thunder Bay Theatre took a step in a new direction with the recent hiring of a managing director who will handle the business end of operations. Artistic Director Jeffrey Mindock announced Mollie Stricker will come on board full-time in May once she graduates from Sarah Lawrence College in New York City where she has been studying theater.

A graduate of Alpena High School who was involved in both Alpena High School Masquers Club productions and shows at TBT, Stricker will handle fundraising and grant writing in addition to the day-to-day business operations of the theater.

“It’s exciting to have this position filled,” Mindock said. “Molly will be the business boss which allows me to fully claim my title as artistic director.”

Though multiple candidates applied for the position, TBT Artistic Director selected Stricker after going through the interview process. He said he was impressed with her commitment to excellence and appreciates her knowledge of both the community and the theater.

“We’re really excited to hire someone like Molly who’s familiar with the theater but who also brings an outside perspective. She has an understanding of Alpena and what the theater means to Alpena,” Mindock said.

Prior to her graduation in May, Stricker will work off-site for the theater as needed. She also put in time over her Christmas break from school and is eager to get started at TBT on a regular basis.

“It’s a pretty special place,” she said of the theater. “I am really happy to be coming back and to be able to give back to TBT. It’s fun to come full circle.”

In the past, she not only appeared in shows at the theater but also directed two children’s productions. When asked what her favorite show to be involved is was, she quickly answered, “All of them.”

“I’m most pleased with having been the director for two of the children’s shows while I was in high school – ‘101 Dalmations’ and ‘Charlotte’s Web.’ Directing is my biggest passion,” Stricker said. “My favorites to act in were ‘White Christmas’ because it was my first time at TBT and I was the youngest in the case, so it was really fun, and also, ‘Oliver’ a couple of years later.”

Mindock said a substantial grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs helped to make the creation of this new position possible.

“As an organization, we’ve worked hard to find funding,” he said. “The MCACA grant made the dream into a reality. Having another person to go out and meet people and really be a great advocate for the theater will be great.”

In addition to hiring of Stricker, the previous position of stage manager held by Paige Mindock has been changed to assistant director. In reality, Paige has been doing the duties of an assistant director all along. She looks forward to working with Jeffrey and Stricker as a team.

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