Trinity Repertory Company, the Tony Award-winning State Theater of Rhode Island, has announced that its executive director, Tom Parrish, will depart the organization on Oct. 15, after six years leading its financial turnaround, organizational
Trinity Repertory Company, the Tony Award-winning State Theater of Rhode Island, has announced that its executive director, Tom Parrish, will depart the organization on Oct. 15, after six years leading its financial turnaround, organizational transformation, and navigation through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Parrish got engaged last year and has decided to relocate to New York City to pursue other opportunities closer to his fiancé and new home. Trinity Rep’s Board of Trustees has begun transition planning and will commence a national search process to identify a new managing partner to join Artistic Director Curt Columbus and ensure a smooth transition of business leadership as the non-profit organization launches its return to in-person production with its 58th season of first-rate professional theater. The Search Committee will be chaired by Board Vice Chair Kibbe Reilly.
Lou Giancola, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, “Although we are sad that Tom will be leaving Trinity Rep in October, the Trustees are extremely grateful for the work he has done over the last six years to position Trinity for the future. His leadership was particularly instrumental in Trinity being able to survive the pandemic and emerge ready to produce great theater this season. He can take pride in leaving Trinity in excellent shape for his successor.”
“Tom Parrish is one of the great minds of the American Theater. It has been my distinct pleasure and privilege to serve Trinity and our community alongside him for the past six years. His ability to consider the problems that confront cultural institutions is unparalleled, and he has helped put Trinity Rep in the best financial and structural position we've ever known in our 57-year history,” added Artistic Director Curt Columbus. “At the same time, many of us realized during the last year of isolation that family and home is as important as our professional lives, and Tom is following his heart in the most beautiful way I can imagine. While I will feel his loss at the theater, I celebrate his decision as his friend.”
“While it was a difficult decision, it gave me great encouragement to know that Trinity Rep is in a strong position both artistically and financially,” said Parrish. “Together, over these past six years, we have made significant strides in advancing the organization. Trinity Rep is strong not because of any one person, but because we all – Board, staff, volunteers, artists, donors, and audience members – have worked collectively and collaboratively to take Trinity Rep to the next level. It has been a privilege and an honor to serve this organization and community. I am so thankful for the support I’ve found and the friendships I’ve made, and am particularly grateful to have enjoyed a fruitful and successful partnership with Curt.”
Since Parrish joined Trinity Rep in 2015, the organization has broken multiple box office records and increased ticket revenue by 32 percent; grown annual charitable support and increased individual giving to record levels; eliminated its accumulated deficit and operated with positive cash flow since 2017; deepened its vital relationship with Brown University to build a top-ranked MFA training program; and made a deep commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism.
During his tenure, the theater produced seven world premiere productions, including the sold-out, commissioned adaptation of “The Prince of Providence,” plus a digital production of “A Christmas Carol” that had nearly 200,000 registered viewers in all 50 U.S. states and 35-plus countries on six continents.
The organization was recognized for Excellence at a Mid-Size Company by Providence Business News in 2018 and with the Best Practice Award for Leadership by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence in 2017. Since 2019, Trinity Rep has been named a Four-Star Charity by national evaluator Charity Navigator.