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Al. Ringling Theatre fire curtain (copy)

Al. Ringling Theatre Friends executive director Stephanie Miller-Lamb, right, shows Jason, left, and W.R. Sauey the playhouse's fire curtain Dec. 30, 2018. Miller-Lamb announced Thursday she would step down from the position.

Citing her general health and wellness, the Al. Ringling Theatre’s executive director is stepping down.

“I’m very proud and I’m also heartbroken to be leaving,” said Stephanie Miller-Lamb, who has served as director since 2015. “It’s the hardest decision I’ve ever had to make, but it’s the right decision for my health.”

She noted there’s “nothing to worry about” but declined to detail her reason for leaving. She’s currently looking for her next opportunity.

Stephanie Miller-Lamb

Miller-Lamb

Miller-Lamb started her tenure with the 100-year-old theater when she joined the Friends of Al. Ringling Board of Directors in 2012, according to a news release. While serving as director, she oversaw the theater’s reopening in 2016 after it underwent a $3 million restoration.

That “once-in-a-lifetime” celebration of the Al.’s history and restoration was one of her proudest moments as director, she said. More recently, Miller-Lamb brought the Broadway production “Ajijaak on Turtle Island” to the Baraboo venue earlier this year through a partnership with the International Crane Foundation. She said she was proud of the partnership and what the production did for children, as well as hosting a Broadway show on Al.’s stage.

“I love the theater,” Miller-Lamb said. “It’s amazing the ownership the Baraboo community feels for that theater, and I would encourage them to continue to support the theater.”

As the only full-time employee, she said she’d like to see the Al. grow. She noted that it’s the main venue for Baraboo school performances — area schools don’t have their own performance arts center — yet the theater doesn’t receive city or taxpayer funds, except through grants.

“It’s a fantastic resource, and it’s a stunningly beautiful resource, but it needs support,” she said.

According to Marketing Manager Holly Henschen, the board hopes to hire a new director this summer. May 1 is Miller-Lamb’s last day, though she said she will help with the transition.

“The board of directors thanks her for all these years, for her strong work ethic, creativity and integrity,” Aural Umhoefer, president of the board, said in a news release.

Miller-Lamb said she wishes the board good luck and has appreciated the support of community members and theater partners.

“This is a very loving parting,” she said.

Follow Susan Endres on Twitter @EndresSusan or call her at 745-3506.

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