The Board of Directors of Theatre Projects Manitoba is thrilled to announce that Sam McLean has been appointed the company’s first Managing Director.
Sam comes to Theatre Projects Manitoba after 5 years of faithful service to Winnipeg Jewish Theatre where he began as a box office Manager and was quickly promoted to Assistant Producer, then Producer, and eventually to the role of General Manager. During his tenure at WJT, Sam helped navigate the company through the Covid Pandemic and carried them through their recent transition to a new Artistic Director.
“On behalf of Theatre Projects Manitoba’s board of directors, I am delighted to welcome Sam McLean as our new Managing Director. Sam brings a wealth and breadth of experience and ability to the position which will be a great benefit to the company as it strives to be both stable and nimble in the face of the challenges and opportunities to come. TPM and the greater community has been well served by our past artistic and administrative leadership, and Sam’s hiring marks a completion of a transition to a new leadership team, a team very capable of both upholding the standards of the past work of the company and one ready to take us on the next step of the journey.”
– Bill Kerr, Board Chair
Beyond his work in arts administration Sam is an improviser, comedy writer, and performer born and raised in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory. A long-time member of the wildly popular DnD Improv show, Sam has been performing in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival and alternative comedy venues for over a decade.
“I am so delighted that Sam is going to be my new partner in leadership at Theatre Projects Manitoba! TPM has always been a company from the community for the community and Sam’s joyfully committed work as a performer, producer, administrator and life-long lover of the local arts scene makes him a natural fit. He loves the performing arts, he loves people, and he loves this unique arts community. I can’t wait to get into the work of co-leading with someone as thoughtful and enthusiastic as Sam and I’m excited to about what we will be able to build in TPM’s next chapter with his kind and dedicated hand guiding the organizational ship.”
– Suzie Martin, Artistic Director
At this moment of post-pandemic rebuilding Sam is eager to see a return to hopefulness for our industry which has been faced with immense challenges in these last few years. He is inspired to help make innovative theatre that pushes boundaries and encourages the return of theatre audiences to our spaces, and to forge new relationships with the many artists, arts workers, and patrons that make up our diverse community.
“Despite the stress an uncertainty felt by the theatre industry over the past few years I believe this is an immensely exciting time to be working in live theatre, especially for a company like Theatre Projects Manitoba, which has a long history of providing Manitoban audiences with innovative and intimate theatre that you can’t see anywhere else. The COVID-19 Pandemic showed everyone the importance of being agile and adaptive and TPM has been an exemplary leader in that field for over thirty years. I feel very fortunate to be chosen to co-lead this company with Suzie Martin and I can’t wait to make the most of this incredible opportunity to help reshape and reimagine how TPM defines itself in the Winnipeg Theatre community.
As an arts administrator my work is not simply a vocation but a part of my identity. To be an arts leader is to see the importance in the ideas and feelings of others and to work tirelessly to realize them by supporting their creative practices. We cannot always control what life throws our way but I believe that you can utilize adversity to create amazing art. It is very inspiring to be surrounded by likeminded individuals at TPM who are passionate about live theatre. I am humbled by this professional opportunity and am very excited for the future of this theatre company.”
– Sam McLean, incoming Managing Director
Read the Winnipeg Free Press article HERE!
Sam McLean (he/him) is an arts administration professional, improviser, comedy writer, performer, and amateur gardener. Sam is a descendant of English/Scottish settlers and has lived his entire life in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Treaty 1 Territory. He holds a BA in Theatre and Film Studies from the University of Winnipeg conferred in 2010. Sam first got involved with theatre through his high-school’s improv team which taught him the value of collaboration and active listening and set him on course to pursue a career in the arts.
Sam has been performing in the Winnipeg Fringe Festival for over a decade as part of the fan favourite DnD Improv Show and continues to write, perform, and produce scripted and improvised theatre and alternative comedy locally and across Canada in festivals like Montreal Sketchfest, Improvaganza and The Winnipeg Comedy Festival. He began working as a professional arts administrator for Winnipeg Jewish Theatre in 2018 and is extremely grateful for the mentorship and support he received there.
He is deeply dedicated and connected to live performance and the amazing potential it holds for connecting and inspiring people and he feels immensely fortunate to participate in the creation of live theatre. Sam is keen to share his sense of enthusiasm for the presentation of Manitoban stories on this land with TPM’s audiences, and he looks forward to supporting even more great local artists in the years to come.