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Rick Davis Named New Executive Director of Mason’s Hylton Performing Arts Center

July 28, 2011

Jul. 28, 2011

Media Contact: Catherine Probst, 703-993-8813

Fairfax, Va. – Rick Davis has been appointed as the new executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center. He will be replacing Jean Kellogg, who announced this month that she is leaving the center.

Davis, who has worked at Mason since 1991, currently serves as the associate provost for undergraduate education, as well as professor of theater and co-artistic director of Theater of the First Amendment. Davis is expected to begin working at the Hylton Performing Arts Center in September.

“We are delighted to welcome Rick Davis as the new executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center and know that he will be a vital asset to the continued success of the center,” says William Reeder, dean of Mason’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. “His extensive experience as an artistic director, presenter, educator, and writer offers a perfect set of tools for the center’s next steps.”

“Rick is a senior executive with an unusually robust set of skills and professional accomplishments. Having said that, his career as a nurturer of great art and artistic work is only surpassed by his affection for the community and aspiring community artists. He is the ideal successor to Jean Kellogg.”

Kellogg has served as the executive director of the Hylton Performing Arts Center for three years. She was recently named the new executive director of the Merola Opera Program in San Francisco. The Merola program is affiliated with San Francisco Opera and is considered to be one of the premier young artist programs in the nation.

“Jean’s leadership in the founding era of the center helped establish strong ties to the community and its vibrant arts organizations, and put us on track for a successful journey going forward,” says Reeder. “We wish her well in her extraordinary new opportunities in San Francisco.”

As a member of the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, Davis has directed productions across the country in professional theater and opera at venues such as Center Stage; the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts; Opera Idaho; Delaware Theatre Company; Theater of the First Amendment; and the American Ibsen Theater, as well as numerous productions for Mason’s academic programs in theater and opera.

Under his leadership, Theater of the First Amendment, Mason’s professional theater company, has originated work that has contributed to the American repertory through subsequent revivals and publication of many of the company’s productions, and has garnered more than thirty Helen Hayes Award nominations, winning twelve of the prestigious trophies to date.

For six years, Davis served as the artistic director of Mason’s Center for the Arts, including its Great Performances at Mason series, which presents more than 50 performances of distinguished artists and ensembles from around the world.

As an accomplished translator, Davis has translated several works of the Spanish dramatist Calderón de la Barca, and co-translated five plays by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen, all of which have been both published and produced.  He has also created texts for a full-length opera and a concert oratorio.

At Mason, Davis has been honored with the University’s Teaching Excellence Award in 1997 and as the Alumni Association Distinguished Faculty Member of the Year in 2006.

Before coming to Mason, Davis served as the dramaturg and associate artistic director at Center Stage in Baltimore, Md., and taught at Washington College in Chestertown, Md.

Davis holds a bachelor of arts degree in theater from Lawrence University in Appleton, Wis., as well as a master of fine arts and doctor of fine arts from the Yale School of Drama.

“I am honored and excited by this opportunity to lead one of nation’s most beautiful and dynamic performing arts centers,” says Davis.  “More than ten years ago I had the privilege of working with the community and the university in the initial planning and design of the center, so this feels in many ways like coming home.”

The Hylton Performing Arts Center, which opened in May 2010, is located on Mason’s Prince William Campus. The center is a partnership among Prince William County, Mason, the City of Manassas, the Commonwealth of Virginia and individuals and businesses in the private sector.

The center is home to six regional arts groups, welcomes a variety of community arts organizations, as well as performers from around the world in its Hylton Presents series, and serves as a venue for special events. Nearly 80,000 visitors have attended a performance or event there. As the only building of its kind in the area, the center helps to integrate the arts into the region’s social, economic and community fabric.

About George Mason University

George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university. George Mason University-Where Innovation Is Tradition.