Gloucester Stage Company‘s Artistic Director Robert Walsh has announced his intention to step down at the end of 2021. The Gloucester Stage Board of Directors has appointed Paula Plum as the Interim Artistic Director as they begin a transparent and equitable search process for the next artistic leader of the Company.
“‘A safe harbor…’ were words from the original mission statement from 40 years ago and equally applicable today. Like many theaters, Gloucester Stage Company has navigated some turbulent waters but remains indebted to the artists who continue to contribute to our growth and forward movement. It has been an honor to serve the Cape Ann, North Shore, and Boston communities for the past seven years,” Walsh said about his departure. “I look forward to seeing how Gloucester Stage can continue its rich history of producing vibrant and culturally relevant work as we continue into this next decade. I am thrilled that Paula Plum will provide the ballast to this moment of transition and excited to see new and different leadership at the helm.”
Walsh has served as Artistic Director, leading the creative operations for Gloucester Stage since 2015, and has a long history of performing on the Cape Ann stage spanning three decades, back to Two for the Seesaw in 1990. During his tenure, Walsh has presented 43 productions, of which eight he has performed in or directed, and received over 30 IRNE and Elliot Norton nominations and awards. After enjoying two major roles in recent films, he’s now looking forward to returning to work as an actor.
“Over the last four years, I’ve had the honor and privilege to work alongside Robert Walsh. The professionalism and artistic competency that he has brought to Gloucester Stage are immeasurable. Robert is one of the most highly regarded professionals in the business due to his vast experience but also the supportive and safe working environment he creates for every production team. Gloucester Stage has achieved significant growth with a great indebtedness to Robert Walsh’s fortitude and strategic vision. I look forward to continuing our forward trajectory with the exquisite Paula Plum as my producing partner,” said Managing Director Christopher Griffith.
The Gloucester Stage Board of Directors will take the 2022 Season to conduct a formal search for the next Artistic Director. Interim Artistic Director Paula Plum and outgoing Artistic Director Robert Walsh have already begun working together on the 2022 Season as Walsh will remain on staff through this December.
“I am honored to succeed my esteemed colleague Bob Walsh as Interim Artistic Director and continue the theatre’s commitment to anti-racism work in season planning and hiring. Bob and I are curating a selection of plays for GSC 2022 written by an exciting group of playwrights whose stories are personally thrilling, culturally relevant, and boldly represent the work of historically underrepresented individuals,” Plum shared. “As a 30-year veteran of Gloucester Stage, I am so happy to shepherd the theatre to its next exciting chapter and work this coming year with old and new friends.”
Robert Walsh, Gloucester Stage Company’s award-winning Artistic Director since 2015 is also known for his stage and screen work. His GSC Directorial credits include: Think of Me Tuesday, The 39 Steps, My Station in Life, Cyrano, The Rainmaker, Bank Job, Songs For A New World, The New Electric Ballroom, North Shore Fish, Fighting Over Beverley, The Widow’s Blind Date, The Primary English Class, Our Town and as an Actor: Gloucester Blue, Sins of the Mother, The Subject Was Roses, The Barking Sharks, Two for the Seesaw. Producing Artistic Director, American Stage Festival: Bus Stop, Intimate Exchanges, Jacques Brel…, and Lend Me a Tenor, among others. Artistic Associate: Actors’ Shakespeare Project: Richard III, As You Like It, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Coriolanus, Twelfth Night, Measure For Measure. Other productions directed include: Othello (Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey); Round and Round The Garden, Table Manners, K2, Later Life, Holiday Memories (Merrimack Rep); Rancho Mirage, Race, Speed-The-Plow, True West (New Repertory Theatre); The Secret of Sherlock Holmes, The Goatwoman of Corvis County (Shakespeare & Co.); Misalliance, A Life in the Theatre (Two River Theatre Co.); I Hate Hamlet (StageWest); The Little Foxes (Barter Theatre); and Of Mice and Men (Greater Boston Stage Co.), among others. Roles in recent feature films include Black Mass, Patriot’s Day, and the upcoming, A Playful Romance and The Fourth of July. Robert directed the on-field ceremonies for the ’99 All-Star Game at Fenway Park. He is on the faculty at Brandeis University.
Paula Plum is a 30-year veteran of Gloucester Stage Company, first appearing in 1990 as Winnie in Happy Days and most recently in Barefoot in the Park. GSC Directing credits include I’m Not Rappaport, Out of Sterno, and The Last Schwartz. Paula is the recipient of seven IRNE awards, 2007, 2017 & 2020 Eliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actress, the 2004 Eliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and the 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award from Boston University. In 2009 she was one of five actors nationwide to receive the Fox Actor Fellowship in association with SpeakEasy Stage. As a founding member of the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, Plum has played Cleopatra, Beatrice, Lady Macbeth, and Phèdre and served as their Interim Artistic Director in 2018. She has appeared regionally at the Lyric Stage, the American Repertory Theatre, the New Repertory Theatre, Merrimack Repertory, the Huntington Theatre, Gloucester Stage Company, and Elm Shakespeare. Film credits include: Mermaids, Malice, Next Stop Wonderland, and Irrational Man directed by Woody Allen. Upcoming films include: About Fate with Emma Roberts and Fourth of July written and directed by Louis C.K. Television: Science Court (three seasons ABC) and co-creator and star of The Dick & Paula Celebrity Special for FX. From 2003 through 2019, Paula served as Artistic Director of WGBH’s A Christmas Celtic Sojourn featuring Brian O’Donovan. Ms. Plum is a cum laude graduate of Boston University and has studied at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, the Dell’Arte Institute, and École Phillipe Gaulier, Paris. She has been published in American Theatre magazine and is married to actor Richard Snee. Paula is a professional acting coach and last year was appointed the 2020/2021 Monan Professor of Theater Arts at Boston College.