Elly Lichenstein and Terence Keane

The Cinnabar Theater in Petaluma, celebrating its 40th season this year, has announced the appointment of a new executive director.

Terence Keane, 42, of San Anselmo, who has worked with the Berkeley Repertory Theatre for the past eight and a half years, will join the Cinnabar staff May 1.

Keane will work in tandem with Cinnabar’s longtime artistic director Elly Lichenstein, who has been doubling as artistic director and executive director.

“I think this is a big moment in Cinnabar’s growth,” Keane said. “Rather than having one person try to be the leader and decision-maker on everything, we’ll have two people — one taking the lead on artistic questions, and the other taking the lead on the business side.”

At the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Rep, Keane helped lead an 11-person marketing team. He worked on 75 shows there, including world premieres.

Productions during his tenure there included the opera “Brundibar,” by “Angels in America” author Tony Kushner and children’s author and illustrator Maurice Sendak, and the stage adaptation of Green Day’s “American Idiot” album.

“It was really phenomenal working there, but I had reached the point where I started looking for something new and a challenge, a new adventure. I wanted an organization in the North Bay with deep roots in the community,” Keane said.

“Within the theater community, the Cinnabar Theater has a very good reputation,” he added.

The Cinnabar Theater was founded in 1972 by Marvin Klebe, the late operatic baritone, actor and director, and his wife, Jan.

The theater building is a former schoolhouse, which now serves as home to plays, musicals, operas and comedy shows, as well as performances by the theater’s youth program, Young Cinnabar Rep.

“I like the story behind this theater. Part of what’s so attractive about joining this organization is becoming part of that story,” Keane said.

The Cinnabar Theater is at 3333 Petaluma Blvd. N., Petaluma.

Information: 763-8920, cinnabartheater.org.

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