A North Carolina theater manager with three decades of experience has been chosen as executive director of Theatre Arlington and will assume the post in mid-May.Norman Ussery, who has held the same position at Twin City Stage in Winston-Salem since 2006, will handle the administrative duties for Theatre Arlington after the departure of Executive Producer Todd Hart at the end of April.Board member Kara King Lidell, who chaired the selection committee, called Norman “the ideal candidate to take Theatre Arlington to the next level.”Ussery has worked with theaters in Florida, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and the U.S. Virgin Islands, where he grew up.He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics with a minor in theater from Duke University in North Carolina.“I am in love with the business of theater,” Ussery, also an accomplished actor and director, said in a statement. “Theatre Arlington offers the perfect blend of theatrical opportunities for adults, for children and for families. It is an exciting theater in a great community. I look forward to making Arlington my home.”Ussery will choose an artistic director to handle the other half of the dual roles that Hart oversees. In late January, Hart announced that he would move to Las Vegas to be closer to his ailing parents. His last day is April 30.“The next season is set and we have a number of eager guest directors, so we are not in a panic,” theater spokeswoman Sue Stevens Durbec said. “[W]e have had more than 50 applicants for AD, so we have a very fat file of great possibilities for Norman to review but no set target to have someone on board.”Board members continue to praise Hart’s leadership.“Todd has lifted the production quality of the theater enormously,” Lidell said. “And he established an excellent cadre of directors to ensure we can maintain that quality and continue to grow.”The national search for an executive drew a strong response from high-quality applicants, board President Beau Browne said.“That speaks highly of the reputation Theatre Arlington has earned,” he said.
Patrick M. Walker, 682-232-4674 Twitter: @patrickmwalker1