Duluth selects new management company for Red Clay Theatre

DULUTH - The Duluth City Council on Monday unanimously selected Cumming-based Playwright Productions as the interim management company for the Red Clay Theatre and Arts Center.

A Theatre Committee composed of Duluth officials chaired by Councilwoman Marsha Anderson Bomar recommended the mayor enter into a six-month agreement with the new company to operate the city-owned facility. Playwright Productions will take over from the current management company Jan. 1.

The committee interviewed three companies before making its recommendation to the council.

Bomar said the council wants the new company to bring high-quality productions and varied activities to the Red Clay Theatre to bring more people downtown at more times.

"We want the theatre to be busy all the time," she said.

By expanding the facility's offerings beyond community theatre, the council hopes to appeal to a broader segment of the community.

"There will be a lot of new and wonderful things that we will get to enjoy at the Red Clay Theatre," Bomar said.

The city plans to issue a request for proposal for a long-term management agreement that would start July 1. Bomar encouraged all interested companies to respond to the RFP.

Other Duluth officials who served on the Theatre Committee were Councilman Doug Mundrick, Economic Development Manager Chris McGahee, Public Information and Marketing Director Alisa Williams, and Downtown Manager Elizabeth Rudin.

Bomar said the city hopes to complete the agreement with Playwright Productions before Christmas so the new company can begin working on the Red Clay Theatre's schedule and negotiating to include some of the productions that have already been planned.