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Theatre Victoria director resigns after 6 months

By Camille Doty
May 1, 2012 at 12:01 a.m.
Updated May 2, 2012 at 12:02 a.m.

Staci Robbins put in her letter of resignation to Theatre Victoria on Tuesday. The Richmond, Va., native was hired in the position in  November 2011.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

To learn more about the Triple Threat Summer Camp, visit theatrevictoria.org.

The Victoria College Board of Trustees will have a workshop at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Club at Colony Creek, 301 Colony Creek Drive. The board will discuss and possibly take action on whether the college will take over the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts.Also on the agenda for discussion are the Emerging Technologies Center, the Liberty Street Industrial Training Center and potential new credit programs.

Staci Robbins resigned from Theatre Victoria as the executive artistic director, effective Tuesday.

Robbins, who had the position for six months, could not be reached for comment.

Board members said she chose to leave because of the proposed changes in the building ownership on June 1. Victoria College is expected to purchase the building from Victoria Performing Arts Center Inc.

With the proposed change, Robbins would no longer be general manager of the Leo J. Welder Center for the Performing Arts. The reduction in her responsibilities would not have affected her salary, said to Omar Rachid, the board president.

He said the building takeover alleviates the theater from the financial obligations of managing the property. He commended Robbins' effort during her time in Victoria.

"She did a wonderful job and has tremendous skills. We wish her the best," said Rachid.

Robbins tendered her resignation letter to take effect by the end of May, but she was allowed to leave immediately to explore other career opportunities.

Michael Teer will serve as the interim director.

Robbins stayed to complete the play "Lend Me a Tenor," which concluded Saturday.

Robbins, a Richmond, Va., native, directed plays, introduced Santa at the Welder event, worked in the Victoria TX Independent Film Festival and persuaded downtown restaurants to stay open later for patrons during special events.

She moved to Victoria from Arizona and has 25 years experience in marketing, fundraising, leadership development, event management and teaching.

"She was a perfect fit. We will miss her," said Lisa Hernandez, a board member.

Hernandez said Robbins was nervous about the change in management scheduled to take place in June.

"She was nervous about getting displaced," said Hernandez.

The arts group reassured Robbins that the theater would always have a place in the Leo J. Welder Center, Hernandez said.

"We couldn't think of taking away fine arts. That was never the plan," Hernandez said.

Although Robbins was in Victoria less than one year, Hernandez said turnover is common in the art industry.

She said the average time is three to five years. Hernandez said Scott Mohon, who had the position before Robbins, was not meant to stay for an extended period.

The theater plans to move forward.

The 2012-13 season is scheduled to be announced by the end of the week. The theater is also taking applications for the Triple Threat Theatre Academy.

This year's summer production will be the classic "Annie."

"We're excited about what's coming ahead," Rachid said.

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