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Del. theater leader moves to Md. school system

Monday - 2/6/2012, 1:47pm  ET

By JON BLEIWEIS
The Daily Times of Salisbury

REHOBOTH BEACH, Del. - After eight years of helping develop, nurture and guide one of the most successful arts organizations in the state, Ken Skrzesz, co-founder and executive director of Clear Space Theatre Company, has stepped down to accept a position with Anne Arundel County public schools in Maryland.

"While I am heartbroken about leaving Clear Space and the wonderful community here, the next phase of my life is also very exciting," Skrzesz said. "I fell in love with the people here. Their remarkable generosity has allowed and will continue to allow Clear Space to thrive and grow in wonderful new ways."

Doug Yetter, co-founder and artistic director at Clear Space, said Skrzesz was instrumental in the development of the theater.

"I'm not certain anyone else could have believed as strongly in the dream of bringing professional quality theater to the area in the same way Ken always did," he said.

In addition to directing and choreographing nearly 50 shows for Clear Space and writing the book and lyrics for its annual production of "Scrooge," Skrzesz was a frequent performer with the company and instrumental in the development its performing arts classes.

Through classes with the Clear Space Arts Institute, students of all ages have studied acting, voice and dance.

"Trying different approaches to get students excited about what the arts could mean in their lives in this community has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my professional career," Skrzesz said.

Yetter said Skrzesz will not be replaced.

"I don't think it's going to affect anything," he said. "He really had pulled himself to a back position, anticipating that something like this was coming."

Skrzesz will continue his involvement with Clear Space as a consultant and guest director, and has the full support of the Clear Space staff and board of directors as he moves into his new position.

In his new role, Skrzesz will be guiding the school system's arts education program. He has been charged with working with the faculty of the Performance Plus and Saturday in the Arts programs to clarify curriculum and instruction at Wiley H. Bates Middle School in Annapolis. While working at Bates, Skrzesz will be instrumental in the creation of a new performing arts high school for the district.

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Information from: The Daily Times of Salisbury, Md., http://www.delmarvanow.com/


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