After a national search for a producing artistic director, StageWest Theater Co. has tapped associate artistic director Todd Buchacker for the lead role. Buchacker will oversee several changes, including moving the company from the Des Moines Civic Center’s Stoner Theater to the Des Moines Social Club (DMSC) this fall. He already was filling in for founding director Ron Lambert, who had resigned after experiencing health issues.
Keith Snow, president of the StageWest board of directors, praised Buchacker’s theater experience, community relationships and “proven passion for the company.” Stoner Theater has helped StageWest build a loyal audience, he says, but the average season ticket-holder is 50-plus. “As they age, we have not done well attracting new audience members,” Snow says, adding that the DMSC will offer more opportunities to reach younger people.
StageWest plans to announce the lineup for its first DMSC season at The Fools Ball April 4 at West End Architectural Salvage. The costume-appropriate, seriously silly soiree includes tunes from Faculty Lounge (Des Moines’ all-teacher “old-school funk machine”), nibbles from Mezzodi’s and Crème Cupcakes, and auctions (silent and live). Proceeds help pay for the company’s contemporary productions—ticket sales provide only about half of expenses. Tickets here. –By Kellye Crocker