Los Altos Stage Company has hired Gary Ferguson as its new education director and artistic director, replacing Jillian Toby Cummings.
“Gary is an experienced and highly skilled theater artist with an infectious personality and boundless energy,” LASC executive director Gary Landis said in a press release issued last month. “I look forward to seeing Gary build upon the foundation that Jillian has laid. Beyond education, I am so pleased that Gary has agreed to partner with me around the company’s artistic program, lending his unique voice and perspective to our larger creative endeavors.”
Ferguson, who started in August, has experience on stage and as an instructor. He earned an MBA in international business and a bachelor’s degree in arts management with an emphasis in dance management.
Ferguson is an active member of the National Dance Educators Organization, Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild and Association Guild of Variety Artists. As a dancer and choreographer, he brings with him years of performing experience, including Broadway and national tour productions of “Cats,” “Chicago,” “The Who’s Tommy” and “West Side Story.” He also has extensive regional credits and has worked locally as a performer, dance captain, director, choreographer and executive producer.
Passion for the arts
As an educator over the past decade, Ferguson has been the dance program manager and performing arts instructor at Mercy High School in Burlingame, where he developed a portfolio of events across multiple disciplines. He designed theater camps that included visual and performing artists. He is currently the guest artistic director for Skyline College, where he oversees all aspects of its musical theater productions. He is concurrently the resident choreographer at San Carlos Children’s Theater.
“My journey began as a student on scholarship with the Alvin Ailey and Gus Giordano Dance Companies,” Ferguson said in the release. “It was here that my passion for dance, music, theatre, and movement evolved. I look forward to sharing my experience and passion with the LASC and LAYT families. My goal is to proactively support the development of quality theatre together with programs in arts education that promote diversity, individual creativity and community outreach.”
Predecessor Cummings served as LASC’s education director since joining the company in February 2016 when she founded its education programs. Her responsibilities also included management of Los Altos Youth Theatre’s three annual onstage productions.
“I have had the best years of my life being the education director for LASC,” she said in the release. “The staff, the students and the parents have made my world amazing. I have enjoyed seeing our summer camps grow, our cross-over shows bloom, and our mainstage dramatic shows grow. This program is unique and amazing, and I have been blessed to be involved in it. Even so, while I’ll still be involved in a limited capacity, I can’t wait to see what Gary Ferguson is going to bring to our program. I couldn’t be happier.”
Regarding Cummings’ departure from the staff, Landis said she “single-handedly created Los Altos Stage Company’s education programs, growing them from a handful of summer workshops to a vast array of summer and year-round programs. She built the foundation on which our merger with the Los Altos Youth Theatre is based.”
For more information on LASC, visit losaltosstage.org.