Michael Ross keeps coming back to Baltimore. This past July, the Milwaukee native returned to the city for the fourth time to take over as managing director of Center Stage, a position he previously held from 2002 to 2008. During his eight-year hiatus from Baltimore’s largest nonprofit professional theater, Ross served as managing director of the Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut. Throughout his career, he also has consulted on fundraising, board development, executive search, and strategic planning for theaters nationwide.
Upon meeting Ross, his firm handshake, quick smile, and roaring laugh make him seem at once like a trusted friend and the centerpiece of the room. After spending some time with him, what also becomes evident is Ross’s love of Baltimore and his desire to grow its cultural scene, his devotion to Center Stage in particular, and his belief in the power of the theater in general. Recently, he expounded on these themes and more in an interview with Baltimore Fishbowl.
Why have you decided to return to Center Stage?