Saint John theatre gets new general manager

Saint John's Imperial Theatre is under new direction.

Imperial Theatre is preparing to celebrate its 100th anniversary

The Imperial Theatre is under new direction this year. (Province of New Brunswick)

Sharolyn Lee is taking over as general manager of Saint John's Imperial Theatre.

Lee is taking over from Peter Smith, who held the general manager's position for the past 14 years.

Lee says it's an exciting time to take the helm.

She's already planning events for the fall of 2013, when the Imperial Theatre celebrates its 100th anniversary.

"Through that season we're going to do a lot of things to reflect the history of the building, the vaudeville nature of what it was meant to be, which is exciting," Lee said.

"It wasn't an opera house, it was a vaudeville house, so it's really, that's the idea of vaudeville, something for everyone."

Lee becomes the third person to manage the Saint John theatre since it re-opened in 1994 after 11 years of restoration to its original 1913 grandeur.

She says the role will be unlike any she’s had before.

"Over the years, I worked in a lot of theatres, repurposed factories and churches and black boxes in the basements of a bank tower at one point," she said.

"To walk into something that's meant to be a theatre and that both has the wonderful history but was also beautifully renovated and just brought up to date technically so there's not much we can't do here."

Lee says this upcoming season will also have something for everyone, starting off with a performance by Arlo Guthrie in September.

Highlights from the 2012-2013 schedule also include the musicals Rock of Ages, Hair, as well as a women's series featuring Sarah Slean and Biff Naked.