Maryland Theatre rewrites job script

May 07, 1997


Staff Writer

Maryland Theatre officials have decided to hire an office manager and part-time technical director instead of another managing director, the theater board's president said Wednesday.

The theater's managing director, Don Wiswell, resigned on April 11 after about a month on the job. Wiswell, who was part-owner of the Washington County Playhouse, resigned after becoming sole owner.

After Wiswell resigned, board officials re-evaluated the theater's staffing needs and decided a part-time technical director was needed to help with large shows at the historic South Potomac Street theater, said Patricia Wolford, board president.


The theater needs someone with an engineering background who can help make decisions about what shows the stage can handle, Wolford said.

Wolford said she didn't know what the salary would be for the part-time position.

The office manager would supervise office activities and handle contracts, she said. The salary would be the same as that of managing director, which is in the low- to mid-$20,000s.

Board officials would start searching for people to fill the two jobs in late summer so the jobs could be filled by fall, Wolford said.

The positions don't need to be filled immediately because the theater's summer schedule is in place, she said.

Board officials also plan to wait until late summer to renegotiate the short-term loan the theater received from Bulldog Federal Credit Union.

The theater received a six-month, $132,000 loan from the credit union in early March to pay off a final $130,000 balloon mortgage payment. Theater officials took out the original $250,000 mortgage in 1994 when the theater was in the midst of a funding crisis.

Board officials are waiting to see if the theater gets money from the Washington County Gaming Commission. Funding from the gaming panel could be used to lower the loan amount, Wolford said.

Theater officials asked the commission for $130,000 to pay off the mortgage debt. The commission expects to have about $700,000 to distribute in August, of which $420,000 would go to charities and nonprofit groups.

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