MRT Welcomes New Artistic Producer

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MRT Welcomes New Artistic Producer

Emily Ruddock to help shepherd new work 

Lowell, MA – Merrimack Repertory Theatre is proud to announce the hiring of Emily Ruddock as the company’s Artistic Producer. In this newly-created position, Ruddock will serve as a senior member of the theatre working to shepherd work from its initial impulse through development to its world premiere. She will play a central role in MRT’s continued goal to place artists and audience at the center of the organization as it becomes a national leader in new play production.

Ruddock’s arrival comes with the departure of Justin Rowland, MRT’s Director of Production. Justin has been with the theatre for 11 years and played a key role in elevating MRT’s production standards during his tenure while keeping a watchful eye on budget and staffing constraints.

Ruddock will be working closely with MRT Artistic Director Sean Daniels, who said, “As we grow as an organization, and work to become the leader in new play production, we need the best producers there are. Emily Ruddock is that. From bringing in new audiences and raising over a million dollars a year at Actors Theatre of Louisville to leading the Downtown Lynn Cultural District, she’s proven time and time again that she is a community leader, a strategic thinker and just a delight to be around. We are a better theatre with her in a leadership role.”

In 2013, Emily Ruddock received her Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Prior to that, Ruddock worked for eight years at the Tony Award-winning regional theatre, Actors Theater of Louisville (ATL). First serving as Artistic Manager, coordinating a variety of high profile projects for artistic leadership and assisting in casting productions, Emily co-created ATL’s first Louisville-artist-focused program, The Late Seating, which ran to sell-out houses for five years. In Louisville, she was a board member of Walden Theatre, a conservatory for young actors, and Le Petomane Theatre Ensemble. She lives in Somerville, MA with her husband Brian J. Lilienthal, a professional lighting designer and their dog Babe.  She also throws pottery at Mudflat Studio in Somerville.

The reshaping of the artistic department also brings a promotion for A. Lee Vilesis, who has served as MRT’s Costume Shop Manager since 2010. As the company’s new Production Supervisor, she will take on the day-to-day supervision and oversight of the production departments, while continuing to manage the costume shop.

In other staffing changes, the position of Director of Marketing and Development was created over the summer and filled by Kate Brandt, who has been overseeing the marketing department since joining MRT in 2013. Joining her in the development department is Jill Meredith Vinci, who fills another newly-created position, Development Manager. The finance department has also seen an addition: Melinda Bliss became the organization’s Finance Assistant in August.

Merrimack Repertory Theatre (MRT) has been Merrimack Valley’s professional theatre company since 1979, and is an integral part of Lowell’s identity as the cultural heart of the region. The company is known for its high production standards and for creating compelling new plays and regional premieres that reflect the lives and emotions of its audiences. MRT is one of just three theatres in Massachusetts that is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), which has 72 members nationwide.


MRT 2015-16 SEASON 

“The Lion”, written and performed by Benjamin Scheuer

August 26 – September 20, 2015


“I and You” by Lauren Gunderson

October 7 – November 1, 2015


“It’s a Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play” adapted by Joe Landry

November 25 – December 20, 2015


“The White Chip” by Sean Daniels

January 6 – 31, 2015


“Tinker to Evers to Chance by Mat Smart

February 10 – March 6, 2016


“The Realness: a break beat play” by Idris Goodwin

March 16 – April 10, 2016


“Home of the Brave” by Lila Rose Kaplan

April 20 – May 15, 2016


Merrimack Repertory Theatre

Performance Space: The Nancy L. Donahue Theatre 

(In Liberty Hall, adjacent to Lowell Memorial Auditorium)

50 E. Merrimack Street

Lowell, MA 01852

Box Office: 978-654-4678


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