Sean Jeffries moves from technical to executive director at Thunder River Theatre
Sean Jeffries has been the man behind the curtain steering Thunder River Theatre Company for nearly six years.
He’s designed sets, lighting, sound and — in light of COVID-19 — coordinated videotaping and streaming as a technical director and production designer. He’s contributed greatly to the growth of the theater in recent years. Now, as executive director of the company, he has a “ridiculous” vision for where it can go.
“I just want to continue the progress until it becomes kind of ridiculous what we have in Carbondale,” Jeffries said. “That we garner more statewide attention, that we get more out-of-valley visitors, that we help out the whole economy.”
Eight months after his five-year anniversary with Thunder River, Jeffries took the helm. In his time, he’s been nominated for 13 Henry Awards from the Colorado Theatre Guild, winning four — half of the company’s total.
Following the departure of former executive director Corey Simpson, a national search began for his replacement. It turned out all along that the best fit was the one up on the ladder rigging the lights.
“After an extensive national search, it became clear that the best candidate was the one working tirelessly behind the scenes for the last five years,” Thunder River Theatre Company board of directors President Laurie Bernhard said. “While Sean is new to his role, we love that he’s a familiar face in theater and the community, and he has hit the ground running along with Artistic Director Missy Moore, Managing Director Kameron Blair and the board.”
Managing finances, strategic planning and coordinating a more logistical aspect of the business requires a different approach to theater than the first 15 years of his career.
Jeffries bounced around from Palm Beach, Florida, to Fort Worth, Texas, upstate New York and Washington, D.C., before landing in Carbondale. When he signed on at Thunder River, the thought of one day taking over never occurred to him.
“Not even on the radar,” Jeffries said. “When I started, I basically gave myself a five- to 10-year plan of, ‘OK, let’s build this theater into something that I can be absolutely proud of and hand off to somebody else.’”
Now, Jeffries sees himself at Thunder River for the foreseeable future.
He doesn’t have to say goodbye to his design role yet as the theater searches for the “absolutely perfect fit” to take over the technical director role.
As the winter season approaches, Jeffries will be working some double-duty in design and executive roles.
The theater is hosting the return of “Consensual Improv” on Friday before premiering Jennetta Howell’s “Christmas on the Homefront” Dec. 9-12.
Reporter Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or email@example.com.
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