We’re coming back!
Pulse racing at the sight of the North Island Center’s energized, fresh design in the atrium, I check out the gently sloping, intimately semi-circular amphitheater that is the remodeled Copley Theatre, and the inviting, clean lines of the stylish and new lobby bar. The walk on my way to the office exhilarates and feels like the perfect metaphor for the changed world into which we are all entering. (These renovations will play host to Paramount’s Bold Series slated for the Copley next year and for which updates can be found here in upcoming blogs.)
And updates are plentiful as our renewed schedules of programming bring on the gradually returning production crews and creative staff. I’m particularly grateful for and proud of developments within our artistic team including Paul-Jordan Jansen joining us as Associate Artistic Producer. Jordan has been teaching at Paramount School of the Arts and is a fan favorite in our Broadway Series shows having played leads in Beauty and the Beast (The Beast), The Wizard of Oz (The Cowardly Lion), and Sweeney Todd for which he garnered a Jeff Award in the title role. Trent Stork has been promoted as well to Associate Artistic Producer, continuing as Casting Director and onto directing duty from his highly praised Legally Blonde which launched the 2018-19 season to directing Kinky Boots opening this year’s Tenth Anniversary Season! Both gentlemen report to Amber Mak, director/choreographer of past seasons’ smash hits Beauty and the Beast, The Wizard of Oz, The Little Mermaid, and Hairspray and who is now Paramount’s Artistic Producer adding to her responsibilities as New Works Director and directing this season to an 80’s head-banging finish with Rock of Ages.
The latest teammates to join Chief Development Officer Jonathan Jensen and Development Coordinator Kelsey Hazard of the Development & Sponsorships office are: Ljiljana Milojevic – Director of Annual Giving, Jordan O’Hara Smith – Development Operations Manager, and Will Skrip – Donor Relations and Stewardship Coordinator. (And yes, that Will Skrip who played “Tony” in West Side Story here!) Congratulations and welcome!
Jessica M. Duplessis recently rose to Paramount School of the Arts’ new Director of Education and Community Engagement which in turn promoted Andrea Pikscher to Programs Manager – congratulations, ladies! I’d also like to welcome and congratulate newcomers Liz Hilsabeck as School Manager and Penelope Torres as School Experience Coordinator joining our ever-expanding Paramount family!
Zoom meetings with these new teams today fill me with confidence for the changes in our future you can read all about in President & CEO Tim Rater’s Reopening Update posted June 3, 2021 on our website: paramountaurora.com.
I’m so moved by all the new faces around the office and in our future audiences for the return home of our hardworking staff and loyal patrons and subscribers to Paramount. Everyone has endured and prevailed through the last 14 months. After being divided and distanced, we will soon safely enter our centers of arts and entertainment thanks to the diligence of those whose job it is to protect us. They never quit keeping up with regulations and protocols. They care for the well being of the common good. In our humanity as a community, let’s do our part to be respectful and courteous. Consciously see how we have more in common than we do differences. We are all human beings most human when we sit together and listen to a song or story and laugh and cry at the same moment, our breaths and heartbeats suddenly synchronized.
Love and thanks,