TheatreSquared in Fayetteville appoints Todd Simmons board president

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,166 views 

Fayetteville-based TheatreSquared (T2) has named Simmons Foods CEO and Vice Chairman Todd Simmons its new board president.

Simmons replaces Lynn Donald Carver, who was board president for six years as the company’s budget and attendance tripled, and T2 completed construction on a new, $31.5 million venue in downtown Fayetteville.

Simmons’ appointment was one of several board and staffing changes announced Friday (Aug. 7) as the performing arts company says it’s preparing for a return to performances this fall.

“This season, we were thrilled to move into our permanent home, and it is truly a phenomenal space,” T2 Executive Director Martin Miller said in a statement. “But seeing our stages temporarily dark serves as a potent reminder that a theatre company’s strength and dynamism really lies in its people. From the board to our staff leadership, we welcome these incredibly talented individuals into new roles, knowing that the coming months will continue to test our company, industry, and our country. We are stronger with what they bring and excited to move forward together.”

Esther Silver-Parker, a former Walmart Inc. executive and now president and CEO of consulting firm The SilverParker Group is the new vice president of the T2 board. The rest of the executive committee includes board treasurer Leigh Hopkins, executive vice president of Walmart, and board secretary Judy Gregson Schwab, former vice chancellor for administration at the University of Arkansas. For the previous term, these roles were filled by Patric Brosh, Tod Yeslow, and Steve Nelson, who remain on the board.

At its April meeting, the board also welcomed new members Louis Martin, Coca-Cola’s President of the Global Walmart / Sam’s Club Customer Team, beginning immediately, and Dr. Yvette Murphy-Erby, Vice-Provost for Diversity and Inclusion at the University of Arkansas, whose term will start in January.

T2 also announced new positions on its professional staff. Shannon A. Jones, the company’s longtime production stage manager and associate producer, has stepped into the role of associate general manager, a new senior staff position. Corey Huffty joined T2 earlier this year as the company’s director of development, having served as manager of auxiliary services and development officer for the Arkansas Children’s Foundation in Little Rock.

Dexter J. Singleton, who is the founding executive artistic director of Collective Consciousness Theatre, a multicultural theatre for social change in New Haven, Conn., joins T2’s senior leadership team as director of new play development. Andrea Newby, former director of patron loyalty for the North Carolina Symphony and managing director of Artists’ Laboratory Theatre, has joined T2’s marketing and development teams as patron loyalty director.

T2 is readying for a return to live performances this fall — its 15th anniversary season — by offering ticket holders a choice of attending in-person or by high-definition live stream.

Performances will begin as soon as circumstances permit, the company said.