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Algonquin Announces Development Department Changes

February 20, 2017

MANASQUAN, N.J. (February 20, 2017) - Algonquin Arts Theatre has named Asbury Park resident Brett Colby to the position of Interim Director of Development.

Colby will step in as Senior Director of Development Teresa Staub leaves the organization to assume the role of Executive Director at Monmouth Arts.

"Teresa has been an integral part of the theatre's staff for six years," said Algonquin Executive Director Pamela Ward. "Although we'll miss her contributions to the Algonquin, we are excited for her new opportunity and wish her nothing but success in her new endeavor."

Colby returns to the Algonquin after serving as the Director of Development from 2009 to 2011.

"We're thrilled to have Brett return to the Algonquin," Ward said. "His familiarity with the organization, the arts and non-profit management will help make this transition as seamless as possible."

The Development Department's priorities at the Algonquin in the coming months will be the theatre's annual Gala on June 8 and the theatre's Second Seat Campaign which will raise the funds required for a needed restroom expansion.

A proven leader and innovator, Colby's leadership skills were tested as far back as high school and college, where he served as president for several extra-curricular groups and organizations. While Colby's early career focused on the performing arts, he remained strongly rooted in business matters.

Growing up in two family businesses, he was raised with a focus on fiscal responsibility and customer service. In his early years, he applied these skills to the family business he ran, and continues to utilize these skills in his nonprofit endeavors.

In 2005, he joined the board of ArtsCAP (The Arts Coalition of Asbury Park), and served as the nonprofit's president from 2007-2009. During his tenure, the small board and volunteer base tripled in size, as did the budget and contributed revenue. He spearheaded many grassroots arts efforts, including monthly art walks and the TriCity Arts Tour (an arts partnership with the cities of Red Bank and Long Branch).

In a shift away from his full-time performance career, Brett became a full-time fundraiser in 2009, when he joined the Algonquin staff as Director of Development. Colby worked to streamline and reinvent all development efforts including the annual gala, annual appeals, grant requests and donor relations.

In 2011, Colby joined The Arc of Monmouth, spearheading fundraising and marketing efforts to support more than 1,300 individuals with developmental disabilities. The 65 year old institution was suffering from several years of deficits and greatly in need of new ideas and revenue streams.

At the Arc he improved the agency's events, doubling revenue at the Golf and Walk/5k as well as the Winter Glow Ball. He implemented an agency-wide database, increasing office efficiency and improved accuracy in record keeping and data management.

No stranger to the performing arts, Colby's international performance career has included opera, theatre, jazz, film and radio. Specializing in character roles in the operatic and musical theatre repertoires, his comedic and vocal skills have garnered rave reviews throughout the U.S. and Europe.

He has appeared on the Algonquin stage with The Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea and starred as Harold Hill in the theatre's 2012 production of "The Music Man."

Colby's operatic repertoire includes Basilio/Don Curzio (Le Nozze di Figaro) with Green Mountain Opera, Cedar Rapids Opera and Connecticut Grand Opera; Spoletta (Tosca) with Opera New Jersey and Opera Illinois; Beppe (I Pagliacci) with Opera Delaware and the Westfield Symphony; Little Bat (Susannah) with Utah Festival Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera; Camille (The Merry Widow) with Rimrock Opera; Piquillo (La Perichole) with West Bay Opera; El Remendado (Carmen) with Mobile Opera and New Rochelle Opera; and Goro (Madama Butterfly) with Virginia Opera, Anchorage Opera, El Paso Opera, West Field Symphony Orchestra, Opera Illinois, Midland Symphony, Boheme Opera, Metro Lyric Opera and Cedar Rapids Opera, among others.

In his European debut, he joined Theater Görlitz, singing the roles of Nathanaël and The Four Servants (The Tales of Hoffmann), for which German papers wrote that he "mastered his diverse roles vocally, theatrically, and with immaculate diction.

Equally at home on musical theatre stages, his local roles are included The Narrator (The Rocky Horror Show) and Charlemagne (Pippin) with ReVision Theatre. He has starred in and recorded albums for two original musicals in New York: Vivianna (a re-telling of La Traviata) and My Heinous Life, for which NYC papers said, "Brett's commanding tenor voice and sure stage presence kept the nonsense moving briskly", and dubbed him, "sweet candy".

Other musical theatre roles include Jesus in Jesus Christ Superstar, and a modernized version of The Pirates of Penzance at NYC's South Street Seaport. Brett spent two summers in Elmira, NY and Hartford, CT, portraying Young Mark Twain in Mark Twain: The Musical. He was featured in the independent comedy film The War on the War on Drugs, and has been heard frequently on Power 105.1 FM's "Dr. Dre in the Morning" Show, singing operatic renditions of popular Rap songs in a segment called "Hip-Hopera"."

Located in Manasquan, N.J., AAT is an integral part of the Shore Region, offering broad access to arts experiences across multiple disciplines. Deeply committed to education, AAT serves students of all ages not only through art and music instruction, but also through the unique communal conversation that exists between audience member and performer. The theatre provides a platform for local and regional performers to showcase their work and offers audiences the opportunity to engage very directly and personally in the arts, fostering greater participation and providing an engaging means for exploring personal and societal issues through the world of the stage.

Algonquin Arts Theatre's programs are made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts / Department of State, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts. Funding is also provided by Manasquan Bank, the Paul F. Zito, M.D. Educational Foundation, the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the Freed Foundation, the PNC Foundation, the Horizon Foundation of New Jersey, the OceanFirst Foundation, the Investors Bank Foundation, the Provident Bank Foundation and the generosity of our patrons.

The theatre was voted New Jersey's favorite small performing arts center south of the Raritan River in 2015.