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updated: 5/27/2014 5:58 PM

Arlington Heights' Metropolis theater looking for new executive director

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  • A permanent replacement is being sought for Charlie Beck, who served as executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights for 2½ years.

      A permanent replacement is being sought for Charlie Beck, who served as executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights for 2½ years.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

After 2½ years, Charlie Beck is out as executive director of the Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights.

The Metropolis board has named former special events manager Neil Scheufler as acting executive director while a permanent replacement for Beck is sought.

Board President Joe Lynn said Tuesday that Metropolis is moving into a different phase of its existence and needs different types of leadership skills than those that saw it attain greater business stability during Beck's tenure.

The newly announced season at Metropolis is entirely the product of Beck's vision and hard work, Lynn said. But it was felt this period between the planning of seasons was the best time to make a change.

"Charlie has worked really diligently over the past 2½ years," Lynn said. "This was not an acrimonious break with Charlie."

Beck could not be reached for comment Tuesday.

One of Beck's primary strengths, most needed during the past couple of years, was his business knowledge, Lynn said.

"He was really the first executive director to bring a really serious business sensibility to what we did," Lynn said.

He also praised Beck's creative approach to locating and booking artists.

But what the board is looking for now is someone with a particular vision for the overall organization -- the theater, the school, and the marketing and fundraising, Lynn said.

Scheufler, a familiar face to not only Metropolis but Arlington Heights in general, was seen as the perfect person to steer the ship while the new permanent director is sought.

"Neil brings the knowledge of the organization," Lynn said. "He really is a dynamo."

While the board has great faith in Scheufler's management, the new permanent director is expected to be in place in time to plan the next season at Metropolis.

Though the village of Arlington Heights has some financial interest in Metropolis, Village Manager Bill Dixon said decisions regarding personnel and management are left to the Metropolis board of directors.

Not only does the village own portions of the Metropolis building, including its theater, but it has provided $165,000 in funding for the fiscal year that began May 1, Dixon said.

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