Steinbrenner High School drama teacher, Lindsey Painter was recently appointed to be the new executive director of Florida Thespians on Oct. 11, 2013. The position became available when the former executive director, Darren Hawkins, passed away. Previously serving as the Assistant State Director, the board of directors unanimously voted to promote Painter to his position shortly following his death.
As the new head decision maker, Painter plans on becoming better at delegating the festival, involving more people within the event and allowing others to take on chunks of work.
“For the past 18 years the festival has been run by single men. I am the first female state director in almost 20 years. It feels great,” said Painter.
Steinbrenner drama students will partake in festival preparations as they are no longer the traveling school. All of the paperwork and assembling of goods now happen right here as students get a behind the scenes look at how the festival operates.
“The students are the gears that are working the festival now,” said Painter.
Senior John Paul Schaut, assistant state leadership representative, anticipates the year to come will be an overall learning experience.
“It’s going to be a lot more work than everyone is used to and it’s a whole different aspect now with having to perform shows and run a festival,” said Schaut.
Painter will be securing the facilities of the convention and Straz Center as well as the Tampa Theater and approximately 16 hotels in downtown Tampa. Thespian street signs will be located all around the downtown area.
“It’s like a Thespian’s takeover,” said Painter.
The Florida Thespians Festival will be held March 26-29 this year and will be located all around downtown Tampa. It is the largest festival in the country with roughly 8,000 people attending, and Painter plans on ensuring her debut as director of Florida Thespians goes without a hitch.
Marissa Hibel/Staff Writer