Director and choreographer Barry Ivan is the new executive producer and artistic director of North Shore Music Theater in Beverly, Mass.
Ivan succeeds Jon Kimball, who led the 52-year-old theater-in-the-round located north of Boston, for 25 years. Kimball is now artistic director emeritus. Ivan starts in September and his contract covers three seasons.
Ivan was a frequent director-choreographer at North Shore, receiving kudos for shows there including “The Full Monty” and “Hairspray.” He has also worked on Maury Yeston’s new show, “In the Beginning,” in Maine. The recently renovated North Shore has operated since 1955 and has become the largest non-profit producing theater in New England, attracting 300,000 patrons annually with a subscription base of 20,000. Its annual budget is $14 million.
Ivan said he will be looking at ways to revive tuners in unusual ways, and also will be looking at new product as well.
The theater ventured into new-tuner land with shows such as “Tom Jones” and “Memphis,” as well as participated in co-productions (“Abyssinia” with Goodspeed Musicals), something the theater will continue to seek out.
This summer’s North Shore line-up includes, “Seven Brides for Seven Brothers,” Disney’s “High School Musical,” the East Coast premiere of the revised “The Three Musketeers,” “Forever Plaid” and “Les Miserables.” The theater also produces a popular “Christmas Carol.”
Ivan will work with Kimball before helming solo in February. He plans to direct and choreograph at least one musical each season.