Breckenridge Councilwoman Erin Gigliello to helm Backstage Theatre |

Breckenridge Councilwoman Erin Gigliello to helm Backstage Theatre

Members of the cast of "School of Rock-The Musical," from left, Lukin Ascher, Saskia Martin-Williams, Mimi Mocatta and Brandon Warren jam out during a Sunday rehearsal at Breckenridge Backstage Theatre. The local nonprofit theater troop that offers a wealth of children's programming has hired Breckenridge councilwoman Erin Gigliello to become its next executive director.
Eli Pace / |

Councilwoman Erin Gigliello will be taking over the executive director’s position early next year at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre, the longest running nonprofit in Summit County.

The revelation came at the Nov. 28 town council meeting, when Gigliello told her colleagues of the coming change. Because the local nonprofit receives support through town government, the councilwoman also promised to recuse herself from any future council decisions involving Backstage Theatre.

For Gigliello, accepting the position is her chance to become a part of a “special place” and join a strong team, including the theater’s artistic director, Chris Willard.

“I’m so excited to be a part of it,” she said. “And on a side note, I am really excited to be living and working in here, to be a part of the fabric of Breckenridge.”

Gigliello thinks the move is going to be challenging, but a lot of fun too.

“It just seems like such a wonderful environment to go to work every day, and I’m excited for it,” she said.

Gigliello’s promise to recuse herself follows a similar move by Councilman Mike Dudick, who recently took himself away from discussions involving a proposed luxury hotel at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort’s Peak 8, which is being pursued through a three-way partnership involving Dudick’s time-share business, Breckenridge Grand Vacations.

Gigliello’s first day is set for Jan. 2, just as Backstage Theatre launches into its 44th season that’s sure to be “full of family, laughter and heart,” said Nina Jannetti, president of theater group’s board of directors.

Backstage Theatre’s 2017-18 season will feature six musicals, a beloved farce, an evening of comedy and continuous children’s programming, including acting classes and performing in various productions.

“We welcome Erin with open arms, and we look forward to a wonderful season with her at the helm,” Jannetti said, adding that Gigliello’s “extensive experience” with executive decisions, development and fundraising made her the perfect candidate to fill the role.

“And she’s an extremely pleasant person,” Jannetti continued. “We’re thrilled to have her on board.”

Governed by an 11-member board of directors, the Backstage Theatre group received $20,000 from the town in grants in 2017. The same amount has been budgeted for 2018, according to town staff.

Backstage Theatre also operates out of the Breckenridge Theater, a town-owned facility on the Arts District campus that has undergone several remodels since it was The Cow Palace restaurant in the 1960s and 1970s, according to the Breckenridge Tourism Office.

Gigliello is leaving her role as director of development at the Summit County Care Clinic, a position she held since April after being the general manager of TV8 Summit and Outside TV Summit for eight years before that.

Backstage Theatre lists three staff members on its website, an artistic director, executive director and a patron services manager. The same number of employees is confirmed on the theater group’s 2015 tax filings, the most recent year for which they were available.

Jannetti and Gigliello both declined to say how much Gigliello will be paid as the executive director at Backstage Theatre, but the tax documents show just over $145,000 in salaries, other compensation and employee benefits was paid out to its employees in 2015.

The director’s position was advertised online and in other places, Jannetti said, explaining that Gigliello’s extensive community connections, including her involvement with local groups like the chamber of commerce, Rotary Club, town council and her “deep roots in the community” will be invaluable as she takes the reins.

“Erin will helm the operations and help with staffing, budgeting and development,” Jannetti said. “It’s a big job, and we look forward to her filling the role.”

According to her campaign bio, Gigliello grew up in a New Hampshire ski town and moved to Breckenridge for the people, lifestyle and mountains.

She’s served on the Breckenridge Resort Chamber Board, the Summit Chamber of Commerce Board and the Summit Transit Board, in addition to volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate and being a Summit County Rotarian.

Gigliello earned her bachelor’s degree in art and business from Stonehill College, Massachusetts, and was named Ms. Summit County in 2016, an annual designation bestowed on an individual by this newspaper who best embodies what it means to be from Summit County.

The executive director’s opening was created by the departure of Jill Boyd, who took the job with Backstage Theatre last August. According to Jannetti, Boyd left after receiving a “phenomenal” offer from the New York Metropolitan Opera, she did a great job in the short time she was here and she will be missed.

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