In a media release, Neptune Theatre announced that after six years, Lisa Budgen would leave her position as general manager of the professional theatre company to own and operate a local business.
“For the past six years, Lisa has steered Neptune through a time of unprecedented challenges and successes,” says Neptune board chair Paul Laberge in the release. “Her leadership through the pandemic ensured that Neptune not only survived but was set up to succeed now that the curtain has come back up again.”
Bugden became general manager of Neptune in 2016 as the theatre embarked on a $4.5million renovation that saw the building receive a substantial facelift and upgrade. Other highlights during her tenure include the most successful show in Neptune’s 60-year history, Mamma Mia!, reinstating Neptune’s popular summer programming and producing the Canadian regional premiere of The Color Purple.
“The impact of the global pandemic has reverberated through the arts and culture sector. Our staff have weathered an incredible storm. It is under Lisa’s leadership that Neptune Theatre remains strong and vibrant,” says the company’s artistic director Jeremy Webb.
Calling it a privilege to have been the general manager, Budgen says that despite the pandemic, the organization has “done some very interesting work and the support for Neptune from this community has been truly inspiring.”
“That said, it is time for me to make a change,” says Budgen. “I am very excited about what the future holds, and I look forward to returning to Neptune as an enthusiastic patron.”
Bugden will remain in the position until November 4, when long-time Neptune board member Catherine Bagnell-Styles will act as interim general manager until a permanent replacement is found.