SALT LAKE CITY— After a 10-month national search for a new managing director, Pioneer Theatre Company announced Monday that Tony-nominated producer Christopher Massimine will be joining its team.
Starting July 1, Massimine will help lead the company alongside PTC’s artistic director, Karen Azenberg. Massimine succeeds Chris Lino, who is retiring after managing the Pioneer Theatre Company for 28 years.
“There’s no replacement for somebody like Chris Lino — someone who’s dedicated more than a quarter of a century to making Pioneer Theatre a fixture in the Utah arts community, but there is a next step,” Azenberg said during the Monday press conference.
In moving forward, the company has brought in Massimine, who comes to Utah with experience producing theater and concerts across the globe and has been nominated for two Tony awards — one for his work on “American Idiot,” the musical based on Green Day's acclaimed album of the same name.
Most recently, as CEO of the National Yiddish Theatre Folksbiene, Massimine oversaw the critically acclaimed Off-Broadway production of “Fiddler on the Roof,” according to a news release. He's looking forward to bringing his expertise and love of theater out west. He is also a part of New York City’s Cultural Council, is the Co-Development Chair at Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, is a member of The Broadway League and the Founder and former Chair of the Immigrant Arts Coalition.
“It’s an extraordinary time to join the Pioneer Theatre Company family,” Massimine said in the news release. “Good theater is about the production; great theater is about developing community. When the work itself comes from a place of authenticity and care, it’s noticed and remembered. I have experienced all of those things at PTC and fallen in love with Utah.”
For Daniel Lofgren, PTC's board chairman, choosing a replacement for Lino seemed a near-impossible feat. But Lofgren believes Massimine's resume speaks for itself and that the producer will help take PTC to the next level.
“Chris Massimine has enormous shoes to fill. Chris Lino has been a remarkable steward of this precious asset. That said, I am excited about Chris coming to PTC,” Lofgren said in the news release. “He has demonstrated wonderful marketing savvy and an innovator’s approach to the business side of theater. I am quite enthused about what he and our amazing artistic director Karen Azenberg can do working together at Pioneer Theatre Company.”
Massimine's love and appreciation for theater was clear during the press conference, as he spoke about how children experiencing the arts is one of the most important aspects of community theater.1 comment on this story
“Pioneer Theatre Company has paved the way for quality in performance — this ripple effect has been seen from children who have experienced it in this theater,” he said. “In short, the arts make the world a better place.”
As PTC's artistic director, Azenberg shares an equal passion for theater and looks forward to working with Massimine to shape the company's future.
“(We will) continue making great theater that is recognized not just here in Salt Lake City or Utah but across the country,” she said. “It’s a very exciting and bright future ahead of us.”