Fort Hill Performing Arts Center, Inc.(FHPAC) has been formed in order to provide the greater community in this upstate region with a well-equipped commercial stage and production facility at a reasonable cost to the user. The theatre is located in the former Canandaigua Academy on North Main Street. It is a part of the Fort Hill residential apartment complex. FHPAC will renew and make use of an unused portion of the apartment complex, adding value, while giving the residents easy access to great entertainment. FHPAC is central to the upstate New York region, minutes from major routes and served by public transportation as well.
The chief governing body of FHPAC is the Board of Directors which is composed of 13 members. The specifics of the structure are set down in the corporation bylaws. FHPAC has incorporated under New York State Not-for-Profit status, and has raised funds to purchase all necessary insurance policies to cover liability, directors, and volunteers. FHPAC has 501c3 status to allow donors to make tax deductible contributions.
Gordon Estey (President of the FHPAC Board) attended school in this building, learning about theatre production on this stage, and then managing this theatre before starting his career of 44 years in technical theatre, including Broadway summer stock and professional lighting and scenic design, stage management, facility management and technical direction. He has been involved with over 460 productions to date. Gordon serves as lighting designer and technical director for Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, Rochester City Ballet, Rochester Broadway Theatre League, Finger Lakes Opera and many local and regional companies. Gordon owns his own theatrical rental and production company formed in 1973 and serves as a sales rep for Reynolds drapery, builder of theatrical draperies and accessories. He previously served as director for fundraising events for UR Thompson health and director of events at Sonnenberg Gardens and many venues throughout the state over the last 25 years. Gordon recently retired from Canandaigua City School District having been manager of the Academy Theatre for 25 years. Gordon was one of the designers of the new Academy Theatre in 1985.
The day-to-day operations of FHPAC will be overseen by a paid Executive Director working for the Board of Directors. The principal duties for the Director include: Supervising the day-to-day function, operation, booking, maintaining the use schedule and overseeing the volunteer coordinator/marketing director and box office staff. Management will include a user paid stage manager, safety coordinator and technical director.
Holger Stave (Executive Director) has been on the stage and in theatre for over 50 years. With a Master’s degree in set and lighting design, he spent over 25 years in regional and college theaters producing and teaching those skills. Holger is a skilled scenic artist and has painted scenery for many theatrical organizations. Following his regional and collegiate work, Mr. Stave then moved to a career in engineering, producing machinery and rigging for performance venues of all kinds, designing, building and installing a wide variety of equipment into dozens of well-known theaters in the U.S. and abroad. Through this association, Mr. Stave was always intimately involved in the over-all design of the functional theatre space and has worked with every major theatre consultant and many acoustical consultants. Mr. Stave also formed and has operated a variety of other businesses and headed up volunteer organizations providing an opportunity to work with local, state and federal agencies on funding and regulatory issues. Mr. Stave has written several successful grant proposals for the Finger Lakes Symphony Orchestra and will continue to do so for FHPAC.
FHPAC Board of Directors: Gordon J. Estey, President; Rosemary Park, Vice President; Tom Davis, Recording Secretary; Nancy Yacci, Corresponding Secretary; Deborah Wilbur, Treasurer. At large members; Cheryl Drake, Melody Drake Johnson, Adrienne Kantz, Scott Kesel, William Kenyon, Fred Magley, Ellen Polimeni, Belle Sargent.
A volunteer stage crew, ushers as well as ticket takers, cleaners and event management staff will be assembled by the volunteer coordinator.
The management will train and provide educational opportunities for local high school students to work in a commercial theatre along with adult volunteers in many production and management positions.