Bag&Baggage Productions hires former Oregon Ballet Theatre artistic coordinator

by: COURTESY PHOTOS - Bag&Baggage Artistic Director Scott Palmer (left) first met newly-named Managing Director Anne Mueller (right) when a former Oregon Ballet Theatre director suggested her for the role of Lavinia in the Hillsboro companys production of Kabuki Titus in 2012.Bag&Baggage Productions of Hillsboro has hired Anne Mueller, former ballerina and artistic coordinator for Oregon Ballet Theatre, as its new — and first — full-time managing director.

The theater company's founding artistic director Scott Palmer announced Mueller's hiring Monday. The company's board of directors voted unanimously to hire her June 27.

"This is going to cause a pretty big buzz in the arts and culture community," Palmer said in an interview with the Hillsboro Tribune Friday. "Anne is hugely loved in the wider dance community."

Mueller is no stranger to Hillsboro theater fans. She performed the role of Lavinia in Bag&Baggage’s critically acclaimed Kabuki Titus show last summer. Now, Mueller is getting set to impress an even broader audience of theater fans in western Washington County.

“I cannot tell you how excited we are,” said Palmerr. “The choice Anne is making to come out to Hillsboro and work with a small and growing theater company is going to send ripples through the Portland area arts and culture community.”

Mueller most recently worked as the interim artistic director for Oregon Ballet Theatre and previously had worked as artistic coordinator for the company after finishing her 18-year career as an OBT ballerina in 2011. She was also a co-founder of the Trey McIntrye Project, an internationally recognized touring dance company, serving as the organization’s managing director from 2004 to 2006.

The managing director position with Bag&Baggage has been fully funded by grant awards from The Collins Foundation and The Miller Foundation, Palmer said. Mueller will oversee both the day to day operations of Hillsboro’s only professional theatre and assist with expanding the company’s earned and contributed income.

The position, which will have Mueller handling operations and a variety of programmatic and marketing tasks, begins in August.

“This is a huge step for us,” said Palmer. “Not only will we now have year-round, full-time leadership, but we will have that in the form of Anne Mueller, one of Portland’s best known and most respected cultural leaders.

“To say we are thrilled would be (an) embarrassing understatement.”

Mueller returned the compliment.

“I am honored to have been chosen for this new leadership role with a company that I know and love,” she said. “It will be a challenge for me personally and professionally, but I am excited to bring my experience and training to Bag&Baggage to support their innovative work. ”

The first order of business for Mueller is preparing for Bag&Baggage’s annual Gala Dinner and Auction on July 13.

“This will be the first time that patrons and supporters of Bag&Baggage will have a chance to meet me in my new role as managing director and not as a performer,” said Mueller.

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