NEWARK ― Maryann Crist, assistant director of the Midland Theatre in downtown Newark, has been promoted to director by the Midland Board of Directors.
Crist has been a part of the Midland team for six years, beginning as development director and most recently as assistant director. As she takes on this new role at the theatre, she will continue to build the Midland’s legacy of bringing world-class music and events to Newark and Licking County.
“The Midland Theatre has been my home from the day I first stepped foot in here,” Crist said in a press release. “I love this theatre and my community. I appreciate the board’s confidence in me, and I can’t wait to bring even more great music and acts to our stage, and to support our educational mission.”
A beloved local landmark, the Midland Theatre has been a community gathering place for generations of friends and family to meet and enjoy the best in music and entertainment for almost a century.
“We were absolutely thrilled when Maryann accepted our invitation to become the Midland’s new director,” says Bob Handelman, chair of the Midland board. “Her passion for this theatre and our community, her long experience with our facility, and her incredible commitment to every aspect of the Midland make her the best possible person to be our director.”
Crist used to work for Dave Longaberger, who renovated the beautiful historic theatre over 30 years ago.
“It’s a huge responsibility and an honor to be able to continue Dave’s vision of providing a plethora of entertainment and educational opportunities for our community,” Crist told The Advocate. “I have fond memories of my children performing on our stage with the Newark High School choir and Missoula Children’s Theatre. I know how special it is to sit in the audience and watch a performance that sticks with you forever!”
Crist noted there have been a lot of great shows at the theatre, and they have plans of expanding their diverse programming.
“It’s always a treat to have a house full of excited guests, but sometimes they can’t come to us. So, we take artists to schools and assisted living facilities,” she said. “We have plans to partner with other local organizations to take a few shows on the road throughout Licking County. Music unites us all and we want to share it with as many people as possible!”
Crist said the best part of the job is providing happiness for people, which the Midland has been doing for 95 years, and looks forward to celebrating 100 years in the community.
“The world is full of a lot of yuck and junk. It’s an absolute honor to be able to provide 2-3 hours of utopia from everyday day life,” she said. “People spend their hard-earned money to come see the acts we book. Here they are taken back in time or create new memories. How cool to be a part of that!”
The Midland Theatre has several holiday events planned, including performances of The Nutcracker, an a cappella holiday concert with Voctave, a screening of “The Polar Express,” and the “Church Basement Ladies Christmas” comedy show.
Visit The Midland website to see all upcoming shows and events.