TNW GM Settling into New Role
Prince George, B.C. – The general manager of Theatre North West (TNW) has taken some time to reflect on her first six months on the job.
Marnie Hamagami is no stranger in town having previously worked as the director of sales and marketing for the Prince George Cougars and as general manager of the Prince George Symphony Orchestra (PGSO).
“It’s going really well. It’s a great fit for me and I hope for the organization as well. I really have been enjoying learning about theatre,” she told 250News.
“I feel it’s not dissimilar from the symphony on the business side of things. It’s about ticket sales and sponsorships and all that sort of stuff but the nuances of the artistic side are different obviously and also quite interesting.”
That doesn’t mean the job hasn’t come with its challenges, starting with managing TNW’s physical space.
“If TNW existed in Toronto, we would not maintain a physical space the way that we do here because we wouldn’t need to,” said Hamagami.
“We could rent space on an as needed basis whereas here, if TNW doesn’t maintain this space, there is no alternative in town. So that becomes a huge financial and administrative cost for us. Of course it comes with many advantages – having complete control over your own theatre is wonderful.”
Her first production with the TNW, ‘Fly Me To The Moon,” wraps up tomorrow. So how’s it gone?
“Because I’m the business side I don’t have a lot to do with the production (that’s the work of Artistic Director Jack Grinhaus) but it’s so exciting to see what these artists are doing and to engage with them and watch this amazing piece of art come together.”
She said Grinhaus is in charge of all artistic aspects of TNW – be it selecting plays, hiring the actors, or picking the set designers.
And while Hamagami finds the artistic aspect interesting, at the end of the day her job is to sell tickets.
“Of course we do a lot of work together and I’m always advocating with him – it’s a tension between what will sell and also the art. You want to be able to express yourself artistically but at the same time I’ve got to put bums in seats.”
Ultimately she encourages people to come and check out what TNW has to offer.
“Art helps us as a community crystalize our thoughts, our location in the world, our interaction with news and current events. I mean art is really a lens through which we can view self, everything from our own personal history through to current events is distilled by art.”
TNW’s next production, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ runs from November 17 – December 7. For more information or tickets click here.
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