Metro Theater Company, St. Louis’ nationally esteemed professional theater for families and young audiences, has announced Joe Gfaller as the company’s new Managing Director. He succeedsJoAnne LaSala, who has served as Interim Managing Director since January, 2019. He begins work this summer on a part-time basis and assumes the position full time on September 3, 2019.
Mr. Gfaller comes to Metro Theater Company most recently from Opera Theatre of Saint Louis, where for more than eight years he led the company’s marketing and communications team and initiated many of its civic and community initiatives. In his role as Metro Theater Company’s new Managing Director he will work alongside MTC’s Board of Directors and Artistic Director Julia Flood to provide executive leadership to the organization, with direct oversight for the strategy and implementation of all operational, communications, fundraising, and administrative areas of the company.
“The board and staff are thrilled to have Joe joining MTC as we begin our 2019-2020 season. He brings tremendous versatility and depth of experience to this role, a deep understanding of the St. Louis community, and strong local and national connections to artists, audiences, partners, and philanthropic leaders,” said Ms. Flood.
“The board Executive Committee and Search Committee were unanimous in their enthusiasm for Joe to join us as our next Managing Director,” shared Michael Gibbons, Metro Theater Company’s Board President. “MTC is primed to begin an exciting new chapter, and to do so, we need dynamic leadership grounded in a love of theater and of this community. In Joe Gfaller, MTC has found a winning combination of both.”
“Metro Theater Company is an extraordinary cultural asset for St. Louis, helping to bridge the divides in our community both through both the power of theater and through the inherent potential in each and every young person in our region. I could not be more honored and excited to work with Artistic Director Julia Flood and our exceptional board and emeritus board to lead Metro into its next chapter,” said Joe Gfaller. “The combined efforts of Metro’s most recent Managing Director Matt Neufeld and its current Interim Managing Director JoAnne LaSala have put the company on solid footing, preparing it to flourish as it approaches its 50th anniversary in a few short years.”
“Theater is one of the few remaining places in our public life where people from all backgrounds can come together to be united by a shared common experience,” continued Mr. Gfaller. “I look forward to working with Metro Theater Company’s board, volunteers, donors, audiences, artists, and school partners to help the company realize its fullest potential to make St. Louis a better place for us all to live.”
Mr. Gfaller was selected as Managing Director after a nationwide search led by the Metro Theater Company Board of Directors. Mr. Gfaller is a nationally recognized arts leader and innovator, bringing years of experience in the nonprofit performing arts sector. His accomplishments at Opera Theatre of Saint Louis include the creation of the company’s Engagement + Inclusion Task Force, the expansion of its Young Friends Steering Committee, the launch of ongoing annual artist community tours (including such significant artists as Salman Rushdie, David Henry Hwang, Terence Blanchard, Kasi Lemmons, and Isaac Mizrahi), record subscription renewal rates, and growth in young, diverse, and national travel audiences. The St. Louis Business Journal named him one of its 2014 Diverse Business Leaders for his work in building an inclusive community for opera.
Previous to his work at OTSL, Mr. Gfaller served in marketing roles for two Tony Award-winning regional theaters—Alliance Theater (Atlanta, Georgia) and American Repertory Theater (Cambridge, Massachusetts)—and in both marketing and development roles for Atlanta’s 7 Stages Theatre. As a consultant, he has worked with the National Blues Museum, Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, the documentary film Flint: The Poisoning of an American City, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, among others. As a stage director, he has directed for New Jewish Theater in St. Louis, Theatrical Outfit, Actor’s Express, Aurora Theater, and Georgia Ensemble Theater in Atlanta, and for several universities (including Clark Atlanta University, Berry College, and Harvard). He also serves as adjunct faculty in Webster University’s Arts Management and Leadership MFA program. He is a graduate of Leadership St. Louis, LEAD Atlanta, and Harvard University. He and his husband live with their two dogs in the Central West End.
About Metro Theater Company: Since 1973, Metro Theater Company has been creating accessible productions that respect young people’s intelligence, tell compelling stories, stimulate curiosity, and provoke thoughtful reflection. The company has reached a total audience of more than two million and has a national reputation for excellence in the field of professional theater for young audiences. Metro Theater Company has received major honors and awards, both locally and nationally. For more information, visit http://metroplays.org.