Hampton Theatre Company Executive Director Stepping Down
Sarah Hunnewell, who joined the Hampton Theatre Company in 1990 as an actor, announced last week that she will be stepping down as the company’s Executive Director in June at the close of the HTC’s 32nd season, after serving for 20-plus years in the position.
Ms. Hunnewell noted that the decision to step aside “is not an easy one after so many years devoted to and absorbed by the HTC,” but said she feels it is time to turn the company over to new leadership and new ideas. She added that it is her hope, as she prepares to embrace new adventures and challenges in her life, that “energetic members of the next generation of theater professionals will join the existing team and help shepherd the already vibrant HTC into a new era of creative and aesthetic excellence in the presentation of exceptional live theater.”
Ms. Hunnewell was introduced to the company while working as an architect in Manhattan. Jane Stanton, a director Sarah had worked with at a New York theater club known as The Snarks, was casting A.R. Gurney’s “The Dining Room” for the HTC. “Get out here, Sarah,” Ms. Stanton barked, “We need a WASP!”
In 1992, Ms. Hunnewell, took the reins at HTC, organizing its administration through the creation of a reservation system, mailing list, and by establishing ticket subscription packages. Over the years, as all businesses learned to incorporate rapidly evolving computer technology, Ms. Hunnewell created and adapted all the internal and external administrative and development systems that are now the core of the company’s operations — beginning by adding to her mailing list the name of every patron who walked through the door.
While enjoying the administrative challenges the company posed, Ms. Hunnewell also always had one foot in the artistic camp. She began directing for the company with “The Rainmaker” in 1998 and has since directed more than 30 productions. She has also been a member of the committee responsible for choosing the plays that the company presents.