Waterfront Playhouse Artistic Director Retires After 50 Years In Theater

Waterfront Playhouse Artistic Director Retires After 50 Years In Theater

Posted Tue, Apr 4, 2023 in Press Releases

Artistic Director Tom Thayer announces his Curtain Call after the Waterfront Playhouse 85th Season in May 2024 

The Waterfront Playhouse announces a special 85th season with nostalgic productions that celebrate Artistic Director Tom Thayer’s over 50 years in theater. Thayer will retire at the end of the upcoming 85th anniversary season in May 2024.

Thayer’s first time on stage was 52 years ago and since that time he has built a life around acting, directing, choreographing and producing stage theater. Moving to Key West in 2016, Thayer found a home at the Waterfront Playhouse as business manager before being named artistic director in 2018.

“Every artistic director leaves their mark on the Waterfront’s colorful legacy, and Tom is no exception,” Chris Elwell, co-president of the Waterfront Playhouse Board of Directors shared. “We are so grateful for what Tom has accomplished, and shared with our community through his leadership at the playhouse. I am excited to see what he delivers in his final season.”

The Waterfront Playhouse’s 85th anniversary season opens October 18 with the “Rocky Horror Picture Show.” Other favorites selected by Thayer include “Little Shop of Horrors,” “Singin’ in the Rain,” “Murder on the Orient Express,” “Ten Blocks on the Camino Real” and “Lost in Yonkers.” A production created by Thayer, “Trunk Material,” will once again showcase favorite pieces chosen and performed by local and visiting actors. A full schedule of productions for the 85th season can be found at www.waterfrontplayhouse.org, including tickets for remaining shows in the current 84th season.

“Every one of the shows in the upcoming season has a special place in my heart,” Thayer said. “It has been a highlight of my career to work with so many talented actors and actresses in the Florida Keys, and do it with the support of Chris Elwell and the board of directors. I promise an exciting 85th season that shows my gratitude to a community that have supported and  celebrated our productions over the last several years.”

Thayer’s second act will be in Costa Rica, where he and his partner John McDonald will relocate full time. Recently learning the sport of surfing, Thayer’s mainstage will be the beaches of Playa Avellana. 

Waterfront Playhouse Board of Directors have appointed a selection committee to recommend the next artistic director, with the plan to have the successor and Thayer work collaboratively on select shows during the 85th season.

Thayer will be greatly missed following his retirement next year, and the Waterfront Playhouse Board of Directors wishes to thank him for his tireless dedication to the theater and for facilitating a smooth transition over the next year, as well as congratulate him on a well-deserved retirement with his partner, John.

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