Hickory – Pamela Livingstone, the Artistic Director at the Hickory Community Theatre will be retiring in June. HCT leadership has been working since August on a nationwide search for the next artistic leader and has narrowed the list down to the “Final Four” candidates.

“It’s been an intensive and thorough process,” said John Rambo, Managing Director. “The Artistic Director is the person responsible for leading the way to fulfilling our mission and carries great responsibility. We enlisted the help of a diverse group of volunteers and community stakeholders to help us go beyond the nuts and bolts of the job to determine not only the qualifications but also the qualities we wanted to see in our next artistic leader.”

HCT announced the job at the beginning of October and received 103 applications, which were then scored by a team of 10 reviewers. The top candidates from that process had a preliminary video chat interview, which then narrowed it down to the ‘Final Four’.

Those candidates are Melanie Cornelison from Ashland, KY, Corey Mitchell from Charlotte, NC, Marisa Post from Aspen, CO and Eric Seale from Springfield, KY.

Each candidate will be coming to Hickory for a four day stay, during which they will conduct a workshop for actors and lead an audience “talk-back” after a performance. Those who participate in these events will be given the opportunity to complete a feedback survey to rate the candidate.

Seale will be here from Jan 16-19 for American Buffalo, Cornelison will be here from Feb 6-9 for A Raisin in the Sun, Mitchell will be here from Feb 13-16, also for A Raisin in the Sun, and Post will be here March 19-22 for Shakespeare in Love.

The various events will be announced the week prior, in the press and through social media. Anyone who is not already subscribed to the HCT email list is encouraged to email [email protected] to sign up.

PHOTO: (Left to right) Melanie Cornelison, Corey Mitchell, Marisa Post and Eric Seale are candidates for the Artistic Director at the Hickory Community Theatre. For more information email [email protected] or call 828-327-3855 ext 103. Photos provided by the subjects.