Door County’s American Folklore Theatre Announces new Managing Director for 2010

The Board of Directors of American Folklore Theatre recently appointed Dave Maier as AFT’s new Managing Director.

Dave Maier

Dave Maier

Mr. Maier has served as the company’s Assistant Managing Director for the past two years where he oversaw various marketing, community outreach and box office technology responsibilities. He assumes his new role as of February 2010.

Mary Seeberg, AFT’s Board Chairperson announced the decision to the company this past Thursday. “Dave’s love of AFT, his theatre and business background, and his experience as our Assistant Managing Director make him the perfect choice as our new Managing Director. The AFT Board of Directors congratulates him on this promotion and looks forward to working with him.”

Mr. Maier will succeed M. Kaye Christman, who is retiring at the end of the 2009 season, after serving as AFT’s Managing Director for the previous twelve years. Ms. Christman managed and guided the fiscal growth of the organization from its early years as a young company with a budget of $25,000 per annum to a large, thriving professional theatre company that now boasts an annual operating budget of approximately $900,000.

Mr. Maier’s background includes extensive artistic and theater management experience with several west coast theatres. He graduated from the American Conservatory Theater’s Advanced Training Program in San Francisco, and spent the next ten years with A.C.T. as a professional actor, conservatory trainer, director and literary coordinator. He also served as Managing Producer of A.C.T.’s new plays program where he successfully produced and managed forty-five premiere productions by dozens of nationally renowned playwrights such as Jane Anderson, Anna Deavere Smith, David Budbill and Anthony Clarvoe. Mr. Maier also co-founded and was Artistic Director of Encore Theatre Company in San Francisco for ten years, where he produced over two-dozen critically acclaimed theater productions before relocating with his family back to Door County.

Mr. Maier lives in Sturgeon Bay with his wife, Barbara Cihlar. They have two sons; Zachary, a junior at Sturgeon Bay High School, and Weston, a sophomore at UW-Madison, majoring in Molecular Biology.

“I’m very honored by the opportunity,” Maier says. “It’s interesting that my kids don’t remember much about my own theater background. Their earliest memories of going to the theatre all revolved around our family visits to AFT during our annual camping trip to Peninsula State Park. I clearly remember sitting in the audience, kids transfixed on my lap, thinking to myself ‘Now wouldn’t this just be perfect place to live a life in the theatre!’ I’m very fortunate and blessed to see that dream come true.”

“I look forward to collaborating with Dave,” says Artistic Director Jeffrey Herbst. “Our sensibilities are compatible and I’ve no doubt we’ll make a great team. We couldn’t ask for a better person to help take us into the next exciting chapter for AFT.”

American Folklore Theatre is a non-profit professional theatre organization that produces original musical shows in repertory from June through August. AFT continues its performances into the fall with shows in Door County town halls September through October and over the Christmas holidays. American Folklore Theatre is a member of Theatre Wisconsin and the Theatre Communications Group (TCG), organizations that promote non-profit theatre groups. For more information on American Folklore Theatre, please call the AFT office at 920.854.6117 or visit the AFT website at

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