A3 to manage Wildish Theater

From the City of Springfield

The Richard E. Wildish Community Theater board of directors voted on February 16 to hire new management for the Downtown theater. The Academy of Arts & Academics in Springfield was selected to manage the theater at 630 Main St. for the next three years. Previously the theater was managed by Willamalane Park and Recreation District.

The academy will be responsible for maintenance of the building and equipment; booking events and performances; accounting and reporting; ticketing; and marketing.

Beginning April 1, the academy will manage the theater under an agreement with the theater's board. The board includes representatives from Willamalane, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation and community members.

"This is an exciting step for the theater," said Nancy Golden, president of the theater's board. "We look forward to working with the academy to continue to grow the theater, as Willamalane has done over the past five and a half years, into a first-class entertainment destination."

Groups ranging from dance teachers to jazz musicians and theater troupes stage productions in the intimate theater renowned for excellent acoustics. The theater hosts two resident companies, Chamber Music Amici and Swing Shift. The theater also serves as a classroom for students of the academy.

The Richard E. Wildish Theater was built on the work of the Springfield Renaissance Development Corporation, which saw in the city's old McKenzie Theater the seeds of what could become a major arts attraction for downtown. With seed money donated by the Wildish family, the group spearheaded a six-year renovation project, which was completed in 2006.

For more information about the theater, call 541.868.0689 or visit

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