For 36 years, Gary Kechely has been a professional Production Manager, Technical Director and Technical Supervisor for hundreds of productions, ranging from small regional theater projects at George Street Playhouse, developing new works at Crossroads Theatre and the American Music Theatre Festival, and large scale musical productions at Paper Mill Playhouse, as well as touring venues including the Kennedy Center, the du Maurier Festival of Words and Music, and the Apollo Theater. He has been privileged to work with truly amazing writers and directors such as Eric Simonson, Ntozake Shange, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Mbongeni Ngema, Ricardo Khan, Harold Scott, Dan Sullivan, and Tina Landau, and collaborated with wonderful designers including Tony Walton, Don Holder, Natasha Katz, Darron West, John Ezell, Anna Louizos and Pat Collins.
He joined the management faculty at CalArts School of Theater in 2006 teaching classes in Management in general and Production Management specifically. He has developed many classes over the years pertaining to professional practice, process, budgeting, scheduling and leadership. In his role as Production Manager for the School of Theater, he mentors students in production process for as many as 20 productions in any given year. This production mentoring role includes students from all programs and areas of study.
He has managed several projects for CalArts Center for New Performance, including Marissa Chibas’ Daughter of a Cuban Revolutionary, which performed in Los Angeles, New York, Miami and Guadalajara, Travis Preston’s Prometheus Bound presented at the Getty Villa in Malibu, and the developmental workshop of Stan Lai’s Nightwalk in a Chinese Garden, which will have its world premiere at the Huntington Gardens in the fall of 2017.
From 2010 until 2016, he served as an Associate Dean for Production, Finance and Operations with the School of Theater. During that time the School of Theater has taken on major projects locally, nationally and internationally. He is particularly proud of his leadership role in developing and executing a three-week intensive training program in association with the Shanghai Theater Academy and Disney, providing instruction for students in Shanghai on Western Musical Theater production. This program resulted in a 70% hire rating following completion.
In the Summer of 2016, he stepped down as Associate Dean to take on the role of Director of the newly formed Program in Creative Producing and Management in the School of Theater. This has been a vision long coming, and he is excited to have a part in its creation and development. As the Director of Creative Producing and Management, he is leading a very talented faculty in the development of a new and dynamic methodology for teaching, learning and professional practice, utilizing studio explorations in project management, development and connection to fellow artists, and devising métier specific methods for management students to understand these dynamic processes through management-centric levels of study.