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ATG takes over Boston’s Emerson Colonial Theatre

The Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. Photo: Wikimedia Commons The Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
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Ambassador Theatre Group is to take over the operation of the Emerson Colonial Theatre in Boston, giving the company its 47th venue worldwide.

It comes as ATG announces two new appointments and the creation of a new client services division.

The Emerson Colonial Theatre is part of liberal arts school Emerson College, and the deal sees ATG enter into a long-term lease agreement with the college. As part of the deal, ATG will invest several million dollars in capital works at the 1,680-seat venue, which will reopen in January 2018.

It is the latest addition to ATG’s global portfolio, which now includes several theatres in the US as well as venues in Europe and Australia.

ATG and Emerson College will also jointly establish the Emerson Colonial Endowment, four annual fellowships that will fund students from the college to perform at the Edinburgh International Festival. In addition, two of the college’s students will be selected for a new annual mentorship programme at ATG, and the company will work to develop community theatre schemes in Boston.

The theatre opened in 1900, and has hosted the world premieres of shows including Anything Goes, Carousel, Follies, A Little Night Music and La Cage aux Folles, all of which went on to run on Broadway.

The theatre was last in use in 2015, closing in October that year at the end of the previous operator’s lease.

Announcing the news, ATG’s executive vice president of content and creative in North America, Kristin Caskey, said: “The Colonial is a wonderful venue: a big, opulent theatre with a long and impressive history, one that’s rich in names like Irving Berlin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Stephen Sondheim. It’s impossible to think of a theatre that’s been as important to Broadway that’s not actually on Broadway. And, of course, Boston isn’t simply a great American city. It’s one of America’s great theatre cities.”

The news comes as ATG makes two major appointments, who will work as part of its new client services division.

Herve Hannequin has been appointed group customer officer, while Oliver Clark will become group marketing director.

Hannequin, who becomes part of ATG’s senior leadership team, will take strategic responsibility for ATG’s relationship with its customers across all products and services. He will head up the new client services division, which will be responsible for the presentation, promotion and provision of products to existing and potential customers.

The division will be made up of six different departments, three of which – operational marketing, external communications and business intelligence – will be headed up by Clark.

The appointments were made by chief executive Mark Cornell and US chief executive Stephen Lewin, both of whom joined ATG in 2016.

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