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Totem Pole Playhouse's artistic director to step down in September

July 26, 2013

FAYETTEVILLE, Pa. — Totem Pole Playhouse’s artistic director has announced that his fifth season will be his last.

Ray Ficca issued a statement Thursday night, saying he will step down from the post in September.

“With its recent infusion of overwhelming community and financial support, the playhouse is heading towards an exciting new future,” Ficca said in the statement.

“It’s a promising and important new direction that I believe, to be successful, requires a full-time, year-round artistic director, not a seasonal one. Since I live in Washington, D.C, that’s a level of professional support that I’m unable to offer to the theater.”

Ficca was named the artistic director in April of 2007, replacing Totem Pole legends Wil Love and Carl Schur.

A performer at the theater for the past three seasons before he became director, Ficca is a graduate of Georgetown University and the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, both in Washington, D.C.

Ficca said the National Conservatory of Dramatic Arts, which he serves as president, has grown in the past five years and is increasingly demanding more of his time.

“I plan to put the marketing communications expertise and experience I’ve honed at the playhouse in service to this accredited acting studio that I have run with my wife now for 15 years,” he said.

“My years at Totem Pole have been the most rewarding of my professional career. It’s the dream of many an actor to serve as the artistic director for a professional theater, and I’m one of those actors fortunate enough to have lived that dream,” he said.

“I’ve made many friends amongst the board, staff, volunteers and community, all of whom I will continue to cherish,” he said in the statement.

Ficca said he has offered to help Totem Pole’s board of directors identify potential candidates for his replacement to make the transition “as seamless as possible for the playhouse, including by helping to train my successor, much as my predecessor trained me.”

Totem Pole engaged in an aggressive fundraising effort in 2012, generating more than $330,000 in an effort to bring more shows to the theater. The 2013 season is the playhouse’s 65th.

The effort exceeded its goal by $80,000.

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