New WICA director named

"WICA's board of directors voted this month to name a new theater executive director and to restructure its staff in a move that leaves no one without a job. Stacie Burgua, formerly the theater's assistant director, moved into the director's chair after the board's annual meeting two weeks ago. She will take the place of Elise Forier who, under the the staff restructuring, is slated to become WICA's theater programs instructor. The WICA board followed staff recommendations in making the changes. Burgua has been a member of WICA's administrative staff as assistant director and marketing director and is the first executive director to be hired internally. A 22-year South Whidbey resident, Burgua holds a degree in visual communications and has previous experience in advertising and graphic design. She is the fourth person to hold the executive director's post in WICA's five-year history. She said Friday that two decades of involvement and interest in South Whidbey performing arts will benefit her in her new position. I think that is the strength I bring to the position, that I have been in the community for so long, she said. Forier, who became WICA's executive director in 1998, is eager to step into her new role as the program's coordinator, Burgua said. Forier will continue to develop the theater's Arts in Education programs, which brought Langley Middle School's Out of the Box performance to the stage last fall, and sponsored a student film project. This spring, South Whidbey students will present a dance performance as the final Arts in Education program of the year. Burgua said she has enjoyed community theater since she came to South Whidbey. With WICA, she said local performers have a place they can perform with a support staff that can take care of the business details that often overwhelm community production companies. The time is right to bring continuity to the theater artists on South Whidbey. The talent and energy is out there. Now we will be able to provide a venue and infrastructure to support community theater, Burgua said. No members of the WICA staff will lose their jobs in the restructuring. WICA's board also made changes in its own lineup at the annual meeting. WICA board chairman Paul Samuelson and treasurer Harold Johnson stepped down from their officer positions. Jim Amis, a member of the Shifty Sailors singing group, will be the board's new chair. Marge Gemkow moves from her seat as vice chair to the treasurer's position, while singer-songwriter Tina Lear moves into Gemkow's old job. Burgua lives in Clinton with her husband, Randy White, and their 12-year-old son Spencer."

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