OCONOMOWOC -- Michael Duncan, director of the Oconomowoc Arts Center, announced his plans for stepping down from his position Nov. 4 to pursue other opportunities.
"The past 10 years have been an amazing experience and the community has been very supportive. My colleagues, staff and volunteers have been the best group of people to work with, but it's time for a new energy and vision to guide the OAC into the future," he explained.
Duncan was hired in 2008 as the first director for a new state-of-the-art, 30,000 square-foot arts venue designed to showcase student talent and attract professional arts programming to fill the 755-seat Neudecker Main Stage Theater.
Duncan has been a professional in the arts for more than 45 years, including arts management, artistic director, production manager, stage director, theater designer and professional actor. He is a member of the Actor's Equity Association and the American Guild of Musical Artists.
Duncan has been an active member of the Wisconsin Presenters Network and served as the Southeast Region chairman from 2014-17. He has recently been part of a WPN project of theater management professionals that assist new performing arts centers attached to school districts.
In the Milwaukee area, Duncan has worked in arts administration and production management with Skylight Opera, Florentine Opera, Great American Children's Theater, Wisconsin Shakespeare Festival and artistic director of Sunset Playhouse from 1994-2003. He has performed professionally in over 100 roles, directed more than 65 productions and designed scenery and lighting for over 50 productions.
"Michael Duncan and the Oconomowoc Arts Center are synonymous. He has been there since the very beginning, and you just can't think of one without thinking of the other. The dedication and commitment he has shown over the last 10 years has helped to make the OAC what it is today -- a central fixture in the Oconomowoc arts community, and he did it with an incredible level of grace," said Dr. Roger Rindo, superintendent of the Oconomowoc Area School District.
"The journey to this point has been an amazing ride. I have been given the opportunity to help build something special for my own community. Working directly with our students and with such talented professional artists from all over the country has definitely been one of the highlights of my career," added Duncan.
"But there are many things I would still like to do," he continued. "The urge to get back to my roots in the professional theater has been a big part of it. I also want to spend more time with my family and friends."