Now On Stage at the Annenberg Center: Michael Rose

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A new era began at the Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts last month, as Michael J. Rose, former executive director of the Glassboro Center for the Performing Arts at Rowan University, took over as the center’s new managing director. He replaces Stephen Goff, Ar’62, who resigned last summer after 22 years at the helm. 
   In his 10 years at Rowan, Rose helped develop Glassboro into the major performing-arts venue in southern New Jersey. Before that, he was executive director of the Performing Arts Center at Richard Stockton College for 11 years. He holds a Ph.D. in comparative literature from the University of Michigan and a Master’s degree in business administration from Drexel University. 
   While he notes that his first month will be spent meeting with various constituencies to determine their needs, Rose said he “would like to see an increase in student programming and participation,” and hoped to explore the possibility of increasing professional programming. 
   The Annenberg Center is in the midst of a three-year reorganization process as a result of a comprehensive, six-month review conducted last year. Penn hopes to accentuate the center’s strengths, such as children’s theater and dance, while increasing programming that will appeal to the Penn and Philadelphia communities. 
   “For this to be successful, we need to build programming,” Dr. Michael Wachter, the interim provost, told The Philadelphia Inquirer. “There have been too many dark nights at the Zellerbach … We want the Annenberg open more nights with more dynamic programming.” 
   One of Rose’s challenges will be to bring the center into the black without sacrificing quality, in an era of dwindling resources for the arts. When Goff resigned, he told the Inquirer that he believed the center was being downsized. It had operational deficits for six out of the last eight years despite an average contribution by the University of $1.2 million. 
   Rose, said Wachter in a press release, “is exactly the person we need to lead the Annenberg Center into the 21st century. He is enormously creative, energetic, and knowledgeable about the performing arts and he has strong financial, marketing, and managerial skills.” 

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