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Home > Current Buzz > FAME to Restart Egyptian Theater in Park City UT
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By Greg Marshall
08/11/2009

A business owner and member of the nonprofit's board of directors has been selected as the new president of the Egyptian Theatre.

Tom Brletic will take control during a public meeting Sept. 2 at the theater. He replaces Jeff Groy, who did not seek re-election after serving a one-year term.

The meeting, an annual event, is slated for 6 p.m.

Brletic's ties to the Egyptian are relatively new, but deeply rooted. He moved to Park City after his daughter appeared in an Egyptian production of "High School Musical." When she was cast in "Peter Pan" later that year on the Main Street stage, Brletic decided to move his family from Las Vegas, where he owns a construction company, to Park City. His daughter continues to act at the Egyptian and has a lead role in the musical "Fame," which premieres Friday.

"Fame's" eight-show run may prove pivotal for the theater. It is the first production the Egyptian has staged independently since a management overhaul in the spring.

Brletic listed providing family fare and returning the Egyptian to profitability as top priorities. His goals aren't surprising considering the recent history on the historic Main Street stage.

The Egyptian's latest musical, "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," lost thousands of dollars, blamed, in part, on abysmal ticket sales. The run added to the theater's mounting debt of more than $100,000. "We won't lose money on any more shows, not as long as I'm president," Brletic promised. "One of the reasons I stepped up, personally, is I felt it would be a dark day in Park City's history to have the Egyptian closed."

Part of stretching lean budgets has meant bringing in outside groups, such as Dark Horse Theater Company, to stage productions. Dark Horse's "Best Little Whorehouse in Texas" played to sold-out audiences on four of five nights at the Egyptian.

Another element of Brletic's vision is to stage shows that appeal to families and young actors. The Eccles Foundation awarded the Egyptian $10,000 to promote programs for young actors. The board used the money to produce "Fame," which stars 12 kids from across the state alongside four adults. It is the first show to be billed under a new moniker, "Egyptian Family Theatre," designed to attract a wider age range.

"We still want to bring in edgy shows, like 'Whorehouse.' We want to stress that families are the ones who support us. We gotta go with our strength," Brletic said.

He pointed to last summer's "Footloose" as a template for success, and solvency. The show played for eight nights, selling out seven of them.

The Egyptian's board is still trying to determine what musical to put on during the holidays. The show's run will start the first week of December, rather than its traditional Thanksgiving premier, in an effort to pull in more tourists at the beginning of the busy ski season.

Whatever the board decides, Brletic said he is happy to be part of the process.

"I felt there was a need for someone with my expertise during this transition," he said. "I know what it means to have your neck on the line, to be fiscally responsible. We used to do things with our hearts. Now we do things with our heads."

Besides Brletic's ascent, the 12-member board of directors will remain largely unchanged, although the incoming president said a prominent person will be named to the board at the public meeting. He declined to identify the person.

The board is also considering hosting high-end acting camps in the summer to raise money, but no decisions have been made, Brletic said.

 

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