Mary Nye Bennett becomes Atlanta Lyric Theatre’s artistic director, succeeding managing artistic director Brandt Blocker, who is moving to Hong Kong. Alan Kilpatrick, the Lyric’s associate artistic director, joins Georgia Ensemble as associate artistic director on a part-time basis. He’ll hold both jobs.
Blocker has been with the 37-year-old Lyric, which does only musicals, since 2007. Bennett, an Atlanta actor-singer, has been the Lyric’s education and development director since 2014.
During Blocker’s tenure, the Lyric moved from the Byers Studio Theatre in northwest Atlanta to Georgia Tech’s Ferst Center for the Arts and, for five years, the Strand Theatre on Marietta Square. In that time, the company increased its subscriber base by more than 700 percent and grew its annual budget from $600,000 to $1.4 million, according to a statement from the theater’s board of directors.
Today the Lyric performs at the 600-seat Jennie T. Anderson Theatre in Marietta, does cabaret and small musicals at the 100-seat Lyric Studio Theatre on Marietta Square (formerly Theatre in the Square’s Alley Stage) and one-off productions at the 2,700-seat Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre.
In addition to his administrative role, Kilpatrick has appeared onstage in Lyric productions of Anything Goes, the Suzi Bass Award-winning Hairspray, The Music Man and The Will Rogers Follies. He directed productions of The It Girl and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum there.
At the 23-year-old Georgia Ensemble in Roswell, he joins a team led by artistic director Robert J. Farley and managing director Anita Allen-Farley.
The 2016/17 GET season continues in January with Greetings Friend Your Kind Assistance Is Required (Jan. 5-22), a world premiere comedy by Atlanta playwright Topher Payne. The Lyric stages a three-performance run of Peter Pan (Dec. 9-10) and returns with Million Dollar Quartet in February.