Sonora, CA — The co-founders of Sierra Repertory Theatre, Dennis and Sara Jones, will retire next summer.
The husband and wife have had a major influence on the local arts scene since co-founding SRT 37 years ago. They plan to remain in the area, and Dennis will continue to direct plays and design sets as a guest artist for SRT. The leadership change takes effect on July 1st, and Scott Viets will become the Producing Artistic Director and Becky Saunders will be the Managing Director. Viets has served several roles at SRT, including director, choreographer and actor. Saunders has served as a guest performer, stage manager and director.
Sara Jones tells Clarke Broadcasting the decision to retire comes with mixed emotions, “It took a lot of soul searching to make the decision, but once we made it, it just feels very right to us. And part of it is being able to turn it over to people that we have so much confidence in. That’s something that most founders don’t get a chance to do, so we feel very lucky to have that be the case.”
Dennis and Sara also released a joint statement, announcing the retirement, reading, “The past 37 years have been an extraordinary journey for us. The friends we have made, the talent we have witnessed, the artists we have collaborated with, the generosity and support of our trustees and patrons have filled our lives with inspiration and gratitude.“
Bill Green, President of the SRT Board of Trustees, adds, “Dennis and Sara have set the standard for theatrical excellence in our community. Their ability to produce breathtaking productions, attract the finest talent, and please diverse audiences has been a gift to this community. We want to use this time to celebrate their many accomplishments as we look forward to the continuing success of SRT under the leadership of Scott Viets and Becky Saunders.”