New executive director

Kings Playhouse welcomes John Connolly to leadership role

John Connolly has performed on the Kings Playhouse stage in the past, but when the curtain goes up next year, the well-known Island performer will be playing a much larger role backstage as the new executive director of the theatre and events venue.

Kings Playhouse, located in Georgetown, PEI, is a community-based arts and culture centre owned by the Town of Three Rivers with operations governed by a volunteer board of directors. In addition to the 287-seat theatre with a 130-year history, the Playhouse has an events space and art gallery.

John brings twenty years of experience in Canada’s cultural sector to the Kings Playhouse leadership role and a Master of Business in evidence-based management from the University of Prince Edward Island.

“The Playhouse has a legacy of entertainment and community. It’s had a tremendous impact on my life from the time I saw Arsenic and Old Lace on the stage as a boy to the times I performed here. I love this institution, and I’m excited to have this opportunity to set the scene in 2024 and beyond,” says Connolly.

An award-winning singer-songwriter, actor, director, and playwright, Connolly has performed throughout PEI and across Canada, released and contributed to a number of albums, written and performed in shows for the stage and collaborated across theatre, music, film, radio and digital. His work with national arts organizations emphasizes the value of partnerships and collaboration.

Catherine O’Brien has served as interim executive director of the Playhouse since January of this year, giving the board time to find the right person to fill the role for the long term. 

The board of directors has developed a strategy with the goal of making Kings Playhouse a go-to destination for shows, entertainment, and cultural experiences in Eastern PEI.

“I appreciate the challenges and opportunities facing the Playhouse,” says Connolly. “Now is the time for creative, impactful thinking, community consultation and budgetary responsibility. I look forward to being part of that work.”