Thomas Hall, who joined San Diego's Old Globe Theatre in 1978 and served as its managing director for 19 years, has announced he will end his tenure at the conclusion of the 1999 season.
Hall has been a tremendously popular figure in regional theatre, not only at the Globe itself, but also nationally as the former president of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT).
"Tom was LORT president for nine years," said Michael Maso, managing director of Boston's Huntington Theatre Company and LORT's current president. Speaking to Back Stage during a break from the ongoing LORT contract negotiations with Actors' Equity in New York, Maso described Hall as a highly capable executive.
"He just had an extraordinarily powerful influence on our [LORT] membership and the relationship with unions and collective bargaining at a time when the institutions were going through enormous economic distress for the large part, as was the rest of the country," said Maso. "He was an amazingly effective and creative leader who helped us maintain really positive relationships amongst ourselves and with the artists that are the heart of our institutions. He's also a figure of enormous respect and trust and, not on a small note, a great friend to many."
Hall is associated with increasing the theatre's operating budget from $1.2 million in 1982, to its current level of nearly $11 million, and is also credited with helping to rebuilding the Old Globe after the fires of 1978 and 1984. He quickly rose to production manager and finally to managing director, a position he held for 19 years. Having produced 240 productions over the past two decades and having overseen capital improvement projects totaling $13 million, Hall still finds his creative accomplishments to be the most rewarding.
"I have had the privilege of being a member of the Globe's staff for over two decades," Hall said. "Although this decision has been very difficult for me, I believe now is the right time for me and the Globe to make the change. It was my objective when I took the job of managing director to help realize Craig Noel's dream of creating a year-round professional company that was recognized as one of America's top-ranking regional theatres. That goal, along with many others over the years, has been met; and I believe the theatre is poised for even greater achievements in the years to come."
Hall will assist the Globe board in the search for his replacement.
and he plans to remain actively involved in the planning process designed to guide the Old Globe into the next millennium.