Mooney Moves Up at Long Beach Playhouse

Andrew Vonderschmitt, executive and producing artistic director at the Long Beach Playhouse is leaving for an exciting new position as Program Director for the Arts Council of El Dorado County. On Monday, Nov. 28, the Playhouse board of directors voted to name Madison Mooney its executive director.

Vonderschmitt began his career at the Playhouse in 2003 when he was stage manager for the production, Blues for an Alabama Sky. He continued to work on shows and was eventually hired as technical director and in 2009 Artistic Director was added to his responsibilities. In 2012, he was named executive and producing artistic director.

“The Playhouse has been great to me. I love this place and the people like family, but it was time to do something different with my own growing family,” said Vonderschmitt. “This job in Placerville for the El Dorado Arts Council is exciting to me. It’s a different and exciting job, a very different place; I can’t wait to start this next chapter in my career.”

Vonderschmitt is credited with improving the quality of Playhouse productions, and patron experience during his tenure at the Playhouse. The staff is familiar with his mantra, “Curb to curtain,” which is Andrew-speak for improving the customer experience from when they step out of their cars to the curtain falling after the final curtain call. Instilling a focus on making the experience, both onstage and off, better than the previous show, therefore improving the experience at every chance possible.

“Leaving this job is made easier because I know Madison Mooney will step in and carry on. It promises be a seamless transition.”

Like Vonderschmitt, Mooney’s first job with the Playhouse was stage manager, for 2009s Side Man. A few years later, when Vonderschmitt took the ED role, Mooney was hired as business and operations manager. She’ll retain those responsibilities in addition to those of the ED.

“I’m thrilled with this opportunity, it’s my dream job. And I’m pleased the board has faith in me to follow in Andrew’s footsteps. The Playhouse is a Long Beach institution and I’m excited to be its advocate in every way,” said Mooney.

The job of Artistic Director will move to current Technical Director Sean Gray. He’ll continue to oversee the technical side of the Playhouse as well. Gray’s work is evidenced in the quality of the technical aspects of each Playhouse production. He’s also directed several shows, including the very popular Sweeney Todd which just closed the Studio season.

Playhouse president, Tony Diaz, said, “We were lucky to have Andrew for nearly 10 years. We appreciate his service and dedication. And we have great trust in Madison. I thank them both for all they do.”

The transition will formally take place on Tuesday, Jan. 3.



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