More than 30 positions being hired this summer
In preparation for the return to live, in-person productions, Trinity Rep has restructured and reorganized its staffing, including making three new hires to its senior management team. The organization will also be hiring dozens of new employees for all departments in the coming months. Job listings can be found at www.trinityrep.com/jobs, and current staff can be viewed at www.trinityrep.com/about/people.
Alyssa Smith joined the organization in April as Director of Resource Management. Smith will be responsible for managing Trinity Rep’s human, financial, and support infrastructure resources. Baron Pugh, who has served as Trinity Rep’s Box Office Manager since 2017, was promoted to Director of Service and Experience in April. This newly-created department will ensure an exceptional, welcoming, and inclusive experience for internal and external customers, and includes ticket office operations, house services operations, facilities, maintenance, security, and customer relationship management. Jennifer McClendon will start as the Producing Director in June, leading all production departments including production management, stage management, costumes, props, scenery, electrics, and sound. McClendon was recruited to Trinity Rep by ALJP Consulting, which led the search for this position.
Smith, Pugh, and McClendon join a Senior Management team that also includes Curt Columbus, the Arthur P. Solomon and Sally E. Lapides Artistic Director; Tom Parrish, the Executive Director; and department heads from community engagement, development, education and accessibility, marketing and communications, and the Brown/Trinity Rep MFA programs in Acting and Directing.
In addition to changes at the leadership level, additional promotions were also announced. Kaii Almeida was promoted from Maintenance Technician to Facilities Coordinator; Kelly McDonald is assuming additional responsibilities as Receptionist; Jessica Toporoski was promoted from Accounts Payable & HR Assistant to Human Resources Manager; Bradly Widener was promoted from Front of House Manager to Assistant Director of Service and Experience; and Shawn Williams is assuming an expanded role as the Security and Property Supervisor.
Adjustments to the organizational structure are among many changes that Trinity Rep is making as part of its commitment to becoming an anti-racist organization. This work is being done at every level of the organization, including by the Board of Trustees, and in every department. Additional changes include a review of all policies and practices, mandatory training, and re-allocation of resources. More information about Trinity Rep’s anti-racism commitment can be found at www.trinityrep.com/antiracism.
SENIOR MANAGEMENT BIOS
Producing Director Jennifer McClendon is a native Chicago theater artist who received her BFA in Stage Management from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A former Steppenwolf Multicultural Fellow and Production Management Apprentice, Jennifer has worked as a freelance Production Manager and Stage Manager in Chicago, IL since 2012. She has worked with companies such as Steppenwolf, Remy Bumppo, The Hypocrites, Prologue Theatre Company, and Definition Theatre. She served as the resident Production Manager for Lifeline Theatre Company from 2016 through 2021, leading six productions a season, an annual storytelling festival, and various company events prior to the pandemic. McClendon is both grateful and overjoyed to join the Trinity Rep family. She is excited for this new chapter and is ready to grow even further with this foundational theater as it embarks on returning to live performances.
Director of Service and Experience Baron Pugh is a Virginia Beach native with over 10 years’ experience in customer service and hospitality, having worked previously in retail, food services, special events, and fundraising, becoming skilled in conflict management, predicting customer needs, and addressing complaints. Pugh first joined the Trinity Rep team in July 2017 as the Box Office Manager, where he oversaw a staff of six and developed processes to ensure a positive, professional, and swift ticket buying experience for our patrons. In his current role as Director of Service and Experience, Pugh will bridge the gaps between the ticket office, house services, security, and facilities so that all departments are working to ensure that all patrons, community members and visitors have an exceptional, welcoming, and inclusive experience. Additionally, Pugh received his M.F.A. in Scenic Design from Boston University in 2018 and designs for theaters across New England and the country including: Trinity Rep, Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Burbage Theatre Company, SpeakEasy Stage Company and the Lyric Stage Company of Boston. He currently resides in North Attleboro, MA with his husband, Rob and their dog, Finnigan.
Director of Resource Management Alyssa Smith is a seasoned finance and operations strategist who is not only passionate about employee engagement, but also leading through change. She is skilled in creating an inclusive employee experience, driving organizational transformation through effective change management, and providing strategic leadership and tactical financial execution of programs and projects. For the past 13 years, she worked with Velocity, a global lifestyle marketing agency comprised of pioneers and practitioners of entertainment and sports sponsorship, live events, retail marketing, and enterprise/B2B engagement. Over the past 5 years, Smith has been a driving force in creating diversity and battling inequality in the sports industries, responsible for accelerating diversity, equity, and inclusion outcomes for underrepresented employees across the global network and carrying forward the company's cultural and corporate vision. Over the course of her career, Smith has always strived to celebrate women who are breaking down barriers and opening opportunities for others. Smith’s passion, optimism, and drive are to improve creative spaces by making it safer, more welcoming, and equitable to people of all kinds — and ultimately, make them more successful. She prides herself on being an expert icebreaker. However, she is most proud of the amazing family she created with her husband. They currently reside in East Greenwich, RI with their four kids, and three rescue dogs.
TRINITY REPERTORY COMPANY
Rhode Island’s Tony Award-winning theater, Trinity Rep has created unparalleled professional theater for and with its community since its founding in 1963. Trinity Rep strives to facilitate human connection and has been a driving force behind the creativity that fuels and defines the region for more than 50 years.
Trinity Rep is committed to reinventing the public square and inspiring dialogue by creating emotionally-stimulating live productions that range from classical to contemporary and innovative education programs for all ages and abilities. Its annual production of A Christmas Carol has brought families together for over 40 years and made memories for over a million audience members.