Dennis and Sara Jones, who founded Sierra Repertory Theatre 37 years ago, met recently with the Board of Trustees to announce their retirement. They will remain at the helm for the next nine months and plan to transition the leadership of SRT to Artistic Director Scott Viets as of Aug. 1, 2017. Viets has been SRT’s Artistic Director for the past 14 years and is familiar to audiences as a director, choreographer and actor, most recently starring in The Drowsy Chaperone. Becky Saunders, a guest performer, stage manager and director with SRT since 1994, joins the staff in April, 2017 and will become Managing Director as of Aug. 1, 2017.
“Dennis and Sara have set the standard for theatrical excellence in our community,” said Bill Green, President of the Board of Trustees. “Their ability to produce breathtaking productions, to attract the finest talent and to please diverse audiences has been a gift to this community. We want to use this time to celebrate their many accomplishments as we look forward to the continuing success of SRT under the leadership of Scott Viets and Becky Saunders.”
Over the past 37 years, SRT has presented more than 308 productions and entertained more than 1,200,000 audience members. With wide-ranging productions from Les Miserables, to All My Sons, to Mary Poppins, SRT has delighted audiences young and old. Many members of SRT’s unique theatre community have made their way to the classroom as drama instructors, to the stages of regional theatres and to Broadway as actors, stage managers, and designers.
Dennis and Sara Jones will remain in the area. Dennis plans to continue to direct plays and design sets as a guest artist for SRT.
“The past 37 years have been an extraordinary journey for us,” the retiring said in a press release. “The friends we have made, the talent we have witnessed, the artists we have collaborated with, the generosity and support of our trustees and patrons have filled our lives with inspiration and gratitude. We are confident that we have developed a transition plan that will ensure the continuing success of the organization we love – Sierra Repertory Theatre.”