Passing the Torch: Succession Leadership Planning in the Performing Arts

Professor Paul Stuart Graham
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Succession planning is an integral aspect of collaborative leadership that is critical to the success, and even survival, of performing arts companies. Few organizations, profit or nonprofit, develop adequate succession planning. There are several examples of performing arts companies that have lapsed into hard times, and even failure, after their visionary leaders left them. Difficulties experienced by these companies subsequent to their leaders' departures indicated that there really had not been any quiding coalition in place while the founders were still present and in charge. It appeared that in each of these companies there had not been much more than the founder's vision, and the force of his or her personality. Co-workers were not true collaborators. Their founders may have been genuine, visionary leaders, but when they left, the organizations weren't adequately focused, cohesive, or functional. Leaders in the performing arts must reinvent themselves in whichever ways are necessary in order to serve their art, colleagues, students and the advancement of the industry. We need to create a succession development program that would be useful in training the future leaders of the performing arts industry.

Keywords: Succession Leadership Planning
Stream: Media, Film Studies, Theatre, Communication
Presentation Type: Paper Presentation in English
Paper: A paper has not yet been submitted.

Professor Paul Stuart Graham

Assistant Professor/ Associate Department Chairman, Department of Theatre Arts and Dance, California State University, Los Angeles

Paul Stuart Graham has worked in the professional theatre community as a theatre owner/ producer, a regional theatre artistic producing director, commercial theatre producer, and theatre educator/ administrator. Mr Graham has produced shows Off Broadway, Boston, and London with Eric Clapton, Cameron Mackintosh and the late Roger L. Stevens from the Kennedy Performing Arts Center. Mr Graham has been Artistic Producing Director of the Massachusetts Repertory Company and the owner-producer of the historic Red Barn Playhouse in Michigan. While at the Repertory, he produced the world premiere of the Mark Bramble ("42nd Street"/"Barnum") new musical "The Marrano", and the U.S. premiere of Cameron Mackintosh's new musical, "Moby Dick". Mr Graham is an alumnus of the University of Massachusetts, Boston University School for the Arts and California State University, Long Beach. Mr Graham has an MFA in Theatre Management. Mr Graham is currently on the faculty in the Department of Theatre Arts and Dance at California State University, Los Angeles.

Ref: H05P0655