Effective March 10, 2013, John Bonanni will conclude his tenure as Executive Director of the Warner Theatre. In leaving, John plans to pursue his long-time professional goals as an executive producer via his company Big Fish, Big Pond, but has volunteered his services as an artistic consultant to the Warner Theatre, specifically its Stage Company.
As part of this move, the Warner is also working to revise its operational model to better serve a changing performing arts market in an environment where there are increasing limits on financial resources.
Bonanni stated, "I have volunteered my experience in producing shows to enhance the Warner Stage Company, and to help it to grow in prominence and revenue production. I believe there are opportunities here to create the best possible efficiencies while providing value to Warner patrons and members, and to further grow long term brand loyalty."
Mr. Bonanni added, "This move will also provide an opportunity to pursue the production of new works which have been on my shelf for over a year."
Immediate plans include mounting a first class production of "The Gefilte Fish Chronicles", opening here at the Warner on March 2nd, and, via his company Big Fish Big Pond, developing the production schedule for another musical, "Steeplechase", an original work inspired by Shakespeare's " Midsummer Night's Dream" , and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy", the story of R&B legend Lloyd Price, who recorded such hits as "Stagger Lee", "Personality", and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy".
Warner Board President Ken Merz offered these words about Mr. Bonanni's time at the Warner.
"During his time as Executive Director, John reestablished the Warner's commitment to being an active part of a thriving arts community. He reopened opportunities for individuals of all ages and all levels of talent to be involved in the Warner in many ways. John established a 'Comfort and Joy' initiative for the purpose of collaboration with and helping other non-profits fulfill their missions."
John Changed the direction of the Warner's programming by presenting many new works and older works as Warner "premiers." These productions introduced many new patrons to the theater. As the Warner moves back to more traditional programming that has formed the basis of our historical success, a place will be retained in our schedule for these newer works and initiatives.
We hope to retain the revitalized commitment of the Warner to being a place where people in the region can be involved as part of the Warner family and enjoy excellent entertainment appealing to many different audiences."