Success stories revolving around the “when one door closes, another opens” axiom never cease to be interesting. Just ask Mike Hathaway who is serving as the interim president of the board of directors for the local community theater Onstage in Bedford.
Losing his job in a huge national corporation in the finance industry in 2008 during the Great Recession led him to return to stage acting and directing along with several behind-the-scenes jobs in show biz. Among his acting gigs were regular roles in Onstage productions, which led to an invitation to join the board where he would eventually serve as the volunteer marketing director.
“At the time I was asked to join, it was mainly to get another ‘theater voice’ on the board — someone with experience on the performing end,” Hathaway said.
Hathaway enjoyed managing the marketing responsibilities for the small theater group, and when former board President Gayle Hargis stepped down because she was moving to another city, he agreed to temporarily take the leadership reins.
The seven-member board is searching for a new permanent president. “We’re hoping to start an evaluation of the board and our talents through a program called Catchafire, started by Executives in Action, where we will identify exactly the type of person we need at the helm and expand the roster to include a dedicated volunteer director and fundraising director,” Hathaway explained.
Artistic Director Michael Winters takes care of choosing and recommending the shows to be performed and manages the artistic vision and focus of the theater, while the board oversees the operations of the theatre.
“When Michael was hired as the AD, he wanted to gently push our audiences into more sophisticated fare. As a result, my service on the board has been as a part of a very exciting time,” Hathaway said. “It’s absolutely thrilling to watch Onstage grow slowly into a consistently professional-level theater.”
Outside of managing the opening night receptions for each production, Hathaway said the board simply doesn’t have the manpower to plan other special events. However, a watch party at Wild Wings in Bedford (with a portion of proceeds going to the theater) is planned for “when the Texas Rangers make the playoffs.”
“This year marks our 31st season. We consider Onstage the hidden gem of the DFW theater scene,” Hathaway said, adding that new patrons discover the theater with each show even though they live within a 5-mile radius. “Our partnership with ticket broker Goldstar has broadened our audience all the way out to Plano, Frisco and Richardson. Some of that new reach is a direct result of our show selection.”
Recruitment of new board members is a priority, and anyone in the community is invited to apply. “Any interested parties can simply send a letter stating why they’d be an asset to our board, outlining relevant history and experience, along with any skills they feel are applicable, and send it to firstname.lastname@example.org,” Hathaway said. Volunteers for nonboard jobs are also encouraged to contact Hathaway to learn about the many opportunities available.
Until a permanent president is in place, Hathaway is enjoying his interim job and plans to roll over some of his new duties to his regular marketing role on a permanent basis. “I love that serving as interim president is giving me a chance to flex those corporate-learned lessons, plus letting me develop new skills that I’ll be able to utilize in behind-the-scenes service later on,” he said.
A recently revamped website and producing a monthly newsletter are new initiatives started under Hathaway’s tenure. Check them out and subscribe to the newsletter at www.onstageinbedford.com.
Euless town hall meeting
If you have ideas or opinions to share about life in Euless or if you simply want to learn more about the workings of your city, then put the Thursday town hall meeting on your calendar.
“There will be representatives from all departments available for your questions, comments or suggestions,” said city spokeswoman Betsy Deck. “Your opinion is important. We look forward to hearing from you in efforts to keep our city FabEuless.”
The meeting will be at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 201 N. Ector Drive. To learn more, call Deck at 817-685-1400.
WILD will host event Thursday
Ladies interested in joining WILD (Women Inspiring Leadership Development), the new women’s group of the H-E-B Chamber of Commerce, should contact the chamber office to get the details on how to become a member.
The next meeting of WILD will feature guest speaker Ann Anderson, chair of the Frisco Chamber of Commerce Women Enhancing Business group. Anderson will share with the audience all the benefits of belonging to a chamber women’s group. Also speaking to the group will be Susan Shaw of Shaw Insurance.
The meeting is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Thursday at the Holiday Inn Bedford DFW West, 3005 Airport Freeway. To register, contact the chamber office at 817-263-1521.