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Executive Seminar: October 12-15, 2014

Paul Nicholson

Paul Nicholson

The Institute of Outdoor Theatre is pleased to sponsor an important new executive education program: Strategic Planning with Paul Nicholson.  Developed in response to  repeated  member requests for new ideas and tools to cope with the changing challenges of outdoor theatre, this seminar is designed for experienced theatre leaders seeking to strengthen their leadership skills.

Led by Paul Nicholson, Executive Director Emeritus of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and winner of last year’s Mark Sumner Award, the seminar will train participants in a proven model for strategic planning, including the ability to test and project the financial impacts of alternate goals and strategies.

With the tightly focused, individual approach of this seminar, registration will be limited to to the first ten theatres that register.  Each theatre may send up to two representatives, either two staff members or a staff-board combination.  The skill sets that will be strengthened are leadership, strategic and financial planning.  The group dinner each evening will be followed by study time with the option of ending the day together over a nightcap.  On the day of arrival, the group will attend a site-specific performance by IOT member and our host theatre, the Serenbe Playhouse, performing “The Sleepy Hollow Experience.”

Seminar participants will apply the principles and techniques of strategic planning while developing specific plans for their organizations.  Unlike many events where the excitement of a meeting can quickly fade, for one complete year after the seminar participants will continue to refine their individual strategic plans with hands-on guidance from Paul Nicholson.

Serenbe inn exterior jpegThe three day seminary will be held at the beautiful and secluded Inn at Serenbe, 25 minutes from the Atlanta international airport.  The Inn at Serenbe is the ideal location for executive retreats and seminars.  In addition to providing the latest in multimedia facilities, all meals are provided by The Farmhouse restaurant, located on the Inn property.  Registration at the Inn and all meals are included in the seminar registration fee.

serenbe guest room

Guest Room

Oregon’s is the largest Shakespeare Festival in the United States with two outdoor performance spaces: the 1,190 seat Allen Elizabethan Theatre and the plaza Green Show.  Nicholson joined the Festival in 1980, serving as general manager for 16 years prior to being appointed as Executive Director. He retired in 2012 after thirty-two years of service, and remains active as a national figure in consulting and his many volunteer activities. In 2013 Nicholson received two national recognitions: the Institute of Outdoor Theatre’s Mark Sumner Award and the American Shakespeare Center’s Burbage Award. A native New Zealander, Nicholson was for six years the administrative director of Downstage Theatre, New Zealand’s largest and longest-established professional theatre. Prior to becoming involved in professional theatre, he worked for ten years in the corporate world as a planning manager, management accountant and systems analyst. Among his many accomplishments at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, three of the most outstanding are:

  • The growth of OSF membership from 2,000 to 18,000 people
  • The expansion of the audience from 240,000 to 410,000 attenders
  • The growth of the operating budget from $2.6 million to over $30 million
OSF - 2009 Henry VIII

Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Henry VIII (2009)

Nicholson has a graduate level business degree from Victoria University, Wellington, New Zealand. He has been a guest lecturer at Stanford University, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Oregon, and is a frequent speaker at the Oregon Non-profit Leaders conference. He has consulted with many U.S. arts organizations and is actively involved in arts advocacy for the state of Oregon, currently serving on the board of the Oregon Cultural Advocacy Coalition. Nicholson has served or currently serves on many local boards including Southern Oregon University Advisory Board, Ashland Rotary, Ashland Community Hospital, the Ashland Chamber of Commerce and La Clinica.  On the national level, he served for many years on the board of TCG.

The registration fee includes the tuition for the three day seminar (October 12-15, 2014), one year’s continuing consultation with Paul Nicholson, and the full cost of lodging and all meals. The registration fee for each individual registering as a member of the Institute of Outdoor Theatre, is $1,200. For non-members the full cost of the program is $2,500. Registration and payment in full must be received by August 1, 2014. Begin Your Registration here:

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