Lisa Condit spoke with Dr. Marianne Felice, the new chair of the board of directors at The Hanover Theatre. Dr. Felice is also the first female board chair at the theatre. Read on from highlights from their WCRN AM 830 interview, or listen to the full interview below.
Lisa: You bring so much experience, passion, interest and community oomph to your new position. It’s fabulous! Marianne is the former chair of pediatrics at UMass Medical School and she is also a professor of pediatric and OB/GYN at UMass Medical School, so she knows how important it is to have quality education, entertainment and quality of life right here in central New England.
Dr. Felice: I certainly do, and I think The Hanover Theatre adds immensely to all the members of our community.
Lisa: Tell me Marianne, what are some of the things that you see in our future?
Dr. Felice: I’m so excited because 2018 is the tenth anniversary of the opening of The Hanover Theatre. I was there in March of 2008 for our first performance with Bernadette Peters. I remember sitting there and thinking, “This is awesome!” I’m so happy and proud to see how far we’ve come in ten years.
Lisa: I remember that night as well.
Dr. Felice: I remember what I wore. I remember where I sat. It was just a glorious night. We have many more people coming to the theatre, and we have such a great CEO in Troy Siebels. He is not only creative and very good at what he does, including directing “A Christmas Carol” every year, but he understands the importance of the theatre in the community, and he is involved in the community.
Dr. Felice: I think what I am most proud of is our conservatory. When I think of the number of young people who are being taught different aspects of live theatre in our conservatory, I am very proud. And looking at the downtown, I think we’ve had a big influence in getting the theatre district going. We’re the second largest city in New England, and we need to start acting like it and looking like it. The theater is really a big part of it.
Lisa: So what is the one thing you tell people about The Hanover Theatre?
Dr. Felice: I believe that we can compete with Boston, Providence and any local area that has theatre. It is easier to get to The Hanover Theatre and to park at the theatre, and we have a restaurant that’s coming. That’s what I want people to know.
Lisa: I want people to know that The Hanover Theatre is one of the top theaters in the world. Not just Massachusetts. Not just New England. But the world. You need to come and see what it’s all about. Once they make that trip the first time, they’re going to see how easy it is to park, and how inexpensive it is when you compare it to other performing arts centers to buy the tickets and park. And our volunteer ushers create such a warm and welcoming environment for everyone who comes through here.
Dr. Felice: I agree with you. And it’s not a community theater. It serves the community but it’s not a community theater. It’s so first class.
Lisa: And I think the other thing that people don’t realize is that we do all this and we are a non-profit organization. So just because we’re doing a great job selling tickets, doesn’t mean that we don’t need that ongoing support from the community, from individuals, from foundations, from companies, from everybody.
Dr. Felice: If you haven’t come and seen a show at the theatre, do so and make it one of your New Year’s resolutions for 2018. And if you have come, talk it up to everybody you know.