As part of its efforts to revitalize its finances. Georgia Shakespeare has a new managing director.

The theater company, based at Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven, announced Oct. 31 that Lauren Morris would join the company to lead its business operations.

Morris will be relocating from California and assumes the position on Nov. 14, the theater group said.

Morris was chosen through a nation-wide search conducted by members of the theater’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Board. As part of budget cuts driven by the recent recession, Georgia Shakespeare has operated without a managing director for more than three years, and the Board of Trustees considers the installation of a strong managing director to be an essential part of the company’s turn-around strategy.

In September, Georgia Shakespeare announced a $500,000 “Save Georgia Shakespeare” fundraising campaign.

More than 1,170 of supporters have donated more than $365,000 in the first seven weeks of the campaign, the theater group said. The campaign must raise a total of $500,000 by Dec. 31.

Georgia Shakespeare has operated without a managing director for more than three years, and the Board of Trustees considers the installation of a strong managing director to be an essential part of the company’s turn-around strategy, the theater group said in a press release.

“The community is demonstrating tremendous support for Georgia Shakespeare, and this is a critical moment for us to have strong leadership on the business side of our theatre as we move forward,” said Ashley Preisinger, the incoming co-chair of the Board of Trustees. “Lauren has the right experience, skills and leadership style to help lead us to a much stronger business model.”

Morris has an undergraduate degree in theater from Indiana State University and worked as a theater artist and manager in Indianapolis before receiving an MBA and MFA in theater management from Cal State Long Beach. She most recently served as Executive Director of Long Beach Playhouse, where she helped lead a major artistic and financial turnaround of the revered 82 year-old organization.

Prior to her tenure with the Long Beach Playhouse, she worked in management positions at South Coast Repertory, Shawnee Summer Theatre, California Repertory Company and Children’s Theatre Institute, Georgia Shakespeare said in its release.

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