Gene Columbus announces retirement from Orlando Rep

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Photo via the Orlando Repertory Theatre

Gene Columbus, Executive Director of the Orlando Repertory Theatre, has announced that he will retire by summer 2019.

Columbus, a former Disney Prince, has served as Executive Director for The Rep for the last 11 years and announced his intention to retire with the following letter.

“After eleven years serving children and families at Orlando Repertory Theatre, the time has come for me to announce that this summer, I will be stepping down from my role and beginning my second retirement.

In February 2008, I retired (for the first time!) from a wonderful 38-year career with the Walt Disney World Company to join the team at Orlando Repertory Theatre. I promised to stay with Orlando REP for a minimum of five years – but I fell in love with the place and stayed another six years. My time at Orlando REP has been the most rewarding in my career. I have worked with many remarkably passionate and talented people, all of whom loved helping children see how they could fit into the world – using theatre to show them the way. We have touched so many families in our time, and I burst with pride thinking of the positive impact our team has made.

As you can imagine, my feelings are bittersweet, but I know Orlando REP will be in good hands after my departure. I wish to express thanks to our arts community, our staff, our Board of Directors, patrons, donors, and all of our friends that have worked so tirelessly to create moments that matter on our quest to be The Finest in Family Theatre! The world is truly a better place because of Orlando REP.

I am a proud “retirement failure”, and look forward to this next busy phase of my life where I will continue to help, support, engage, guide, teach, write, speak, and lots more for our community. With my time at Orlando REP, my time with the Walt Disney Company, and my ten years as a performer, my career spans nearly 60 years! I have no plans on stopping now, and am so excited for all the things still out there for me to do. I look forward to seeing you all around the community, and of course, at the theatre!”

Columbus was recently named one of “10 people who make Orlando a better place to live” by Scott Maxwell of Orlando Sentinel. 

A search has already begun to find a new Executive Director for the Theatre and a full job description for the position can be found HERE.

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