In a surprise move, Kirk Metzger, executive director of the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center in Appleton, WI, is stepping down four months after the venue opened.
“I need a break,” Metzger said in the Post-Crescent. “I really think the Center is on a great track. I want to step back for a little bit.”
Metzger will stay on until April 18 and help with the transition and planning the PAC's 2003-2004 season. PAC board member Walter Rugland is assuming interim leadership.
Metzger joined the PAC in 2000, more than two years before its November 24, 2002 opening, and said he began considering his departure soon after the PAC's opening. Before coming to the facility, he was involved with starting up three other performing arts centers.
“Certainly the immediate goal was to get up and running,” Metzger said. “This is the fourth building I’ve done and, gosh, each one takes a little more out of you.”
In a prepared statement, John Bergstrom, chairman of the PAC’s board of directors, said, “We acknowledge and thank Kirk for his many contributions. He and his staff have made a mark for themselves and for our community in all they have done to help create a cultural and entertainment resource that has been warmly embraced by the people of the Fox Cities.”
Since its November debut, more than 110,000 people have attended PAC productions that include two Broadway shows, “Mamma Mia!” and “Seussical the Musical,” as well as ballets, country music concerts and performances by local arts groups.