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Maryland Theatre names new executive director

May 28, 2009|By ANDREW SCHOTZ

HAGERSTOWN -- Jay C. Constantz, who most recently was the director of an Atlanta performing arts center, has been named the new executive director of The Maryland Theatre in Hagerstown.

Constantz is expected to move to the Washington County area next month, but said he already has started working on theater business electronically. He has been in touch with agents in New York and Los Angeles to see what acts could be booked in Hagerstown, he said.

Constantz, 54, said he visited Hagerstown while growing up in Arlington, Va., but not The Maryland Theatre.

When he saw the theater recently, "I was just enamored with it," he said Thursday during a phone interview.

Constantz worked at the Ferst Center for the Arts, on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, from 2002 until this year.

Before that, he was executive director of First Night Atlanta for two years and worked for 15 years as assistant general manager at the Fox Theatre in Atlanta.

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Sam Young, the president of The Maryland Theatre's board, announced Thursday that Constantz had been hired, capping a search process that began in November.

The theater's search committee received 133 applications for the position, Young said. Local arts, community, government and business leaders helped with the search.

When the pool was narrowed to 15, seven were interviewed by phone. The other eight either already had found jobs or had other reasons for pulling themselves out of consideration, Young said.

Constantz was picked out of four finalists.

Young declined to reveal Constantz's salary, saying the board hadn't finalized his benefit package. Brian Sullivan, the last executive director, received a $55,000 salary, according to the theater's 2007 Internal Revenue Service tax statement, a public record.

Young said Constantz's salary will be higher, in line with similar positions.

Jenni Hatcher served as interim executive editor after Sullivan left, but didn't apply for the position. She said she has taken a job planning events and promoting concerts on the national level.

Young said he and the board like the breadth of Constantz's experience, particularly that he has worked on renovations, a building project and programming.

"He seems to be a very focused individual," Young said.

Constantz also worked in St. Louis for a little more than 10 years and Miami for a few years.

He said he's glad he's moving north, which will put him closer to family in Arlington and Manassas in Virginia, as well as New York and Ohio.

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