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New Artistic Director for Tarkington Theatre

Booth Tarkington Civic Theatre’s Board of Trustees has named Michael J. Lasley Executive Artistic Director. He has been with the 102-year-old theatre since 1990. He assumed his new responsibilities on August 15, 2016. Lasley’s 26-year tenure at Civic began with sound design and carpentry, and has since included all facets of operations, from behind-the-scenes to administrative duties, to performing on-stage.

“We are proud to announce Michael’s much deserved promotion,” said Chairman of the Board Andrew Buroker. “His natural ability for leadership, artistic vision, and longevity at our well-established performing arts organization makes him the logical choice to take Civic into its second century.”

Don Knebel, a Civic board member since the 1980s, who has served as interim Executive Director since September of last year, agreed. “Michael has earned this promotion, not just in the past year, but in his many years of service to the organization. His artistic and executive skills make him the perfect choice to lead Civic forward.”

Lasley has served as House Sound Designer for every production at Civic since 1997 and became Associate Director in 2000. In 2002, he was named Producing Director, which put him in a key managerial role at the theatre. In this position, he managed budgets, production timelines, and staff for over 120 shows. Michael has supervised the relocation of Civic twice, once in 2004 to Marian University, and again in 2011 to the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. As part of the theatre’s move to Carmel, he was a key member of the design and construction team for the Tarkington, Studio Theater as well as the education and support spaces.

Lasley said, “More than 25 years of my career has been spent with Civic Theatre – it is truly my life’s work. I am excited to serve the patrons, volunteers and staff of this great institution in this new role.”

Civic Theatre has provided live entertainment, creative opportunities, and theatre education to the residents of Central Indiana since 1915. Civic’s programs provide community members opportunities on-stage, behind the scenes, in the audience, and in the classroom, with the support of experienced theatre professionals. Each season, Civic produces 90 public performances, works with 300 avocational actors, and serves 54,000 patrons. Civic’s 102nd season opens with a Kickoff Celebration on opening night of YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN October 21st. For more information about Michael J. Lasley, Civic Theatre, and a complete staff listing, visit

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