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Asolo Repertory Theatre expands management team

Sarah Johnson and Eric Pugh fill development and marketing posts.

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  • | 5:25 p.m. September 5, 2023
Eric Pugh has joined Asolo Repertory Theatre as its director of marketing and communications and Sarah Johnson is its new director of development.
Eric Pugh has joined Asolo Repertory Theatre as its director of marketing and communications and Sarah Johnson is its new director of development.
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Asolo Repertory Theatre has expanded its management team with the appointment of Sarah Johnson as director of development and Eric Pugh as director of marketing and communications. 

Both Johnson and Pugh are already serving in their new jobs. Their formal appointments come on the heels of a succession in the upper ranks of Asolo Rep.

On July 1, Peter Rothstein took over as producing artistic director, following the retirement of Michael Donald Edwards, who had an 18-year run at Asolo.

The same day, Ross Egan became the theater company's new managing director, succeeding Linda DiGabriele, who retired after 50 years at Asolo Rep, 35 of them as managing director.

"As Peter Rothstein and I begin our tenure, we believe these two experienced and creative individuals will play a key role in leading Asolo Rep into its new beginning," Egan said in a statement.

Johnson joined Asolo Rep as the associate development director in February 2022. Over the course of her career, which includes fundraising in the nonprofit world for 13 years, Johnson has raised more than $115 million.

"I look forward to continuing to connect with our incredible supporters and to engage with the Sarasota community that has proved passionate about embracing the performing arts," Johnson said.

She holds two bachelor's degrees from West Virginia University, one in Criminology and Investigations and the other in Communication Studies. 

Previously she worked for UNHCR-United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, a post that took her all over the globe to raise money and advocate for displaced people.

Pugh comes to Asolo Rep from The Muny in St. Louis, where he recently served as director of marketing for America's oldest and largest outdoor theater.

At the Muny, Pugh led audience redevelopment after the pandemic. His previous experience includes increasing ticket revenue at the Fulton Theatre in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, by more than $2.3 million, or 70%, during his tenure, which also coincided with an increase in subscriptions of nearly 4,000, or 60%. 

Pugh has held similar positions at Cleveland Play House, STAGES St. Louis, Florida Studio Theatre and the Carousel. 

"I am honored to lead the marketing and communications efforts, working alongside Ross and Peter, at this historic and beloved theater," Pugh said. "I am looking forward to becoming reacquainted with the Sarasota community and strengthening the Asolo Rep's commitment to community."

Asolo Rep opens its 65th season on Nov. 15 with the Tony-winning musical "Crazy for You," which runs through Jan. 4. In August, Denis Jones, a two-time Tony nominee, replaced Josh Rhodes as director and choreographer of Asolo Rep's production of "Crazy for You."

Rhodes left Asolo to make his Broadway directing debut for the recently announced revival of "Spamalot," the musical inspired by "Monty Python and the Holy Grail."  


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