GREENSBORO — When the executive director’s post at Community Theatre of Greensboro opened twice in 2017, Rozalynn “Roz” Fulton opted not to apply.
Fulton enjoyed working as CTG’s education director, overseeing theater summer camps for children, classes for children and adults and opportunities to perform.
But there was no one ready to take her post. So although the board encouraged her to seek the top job, Fulton said, she felt the timing wasn’t right.
Then after Jody Cauthen left as executive director in late May, Fulton and the board agreed that Fulton’s time had come.
With staffer Nikki Philbrick ready to assume more of Fulton’s education duties, the board promoted Fulton to executive director last week.
Fulton, 42, was interim executive director briefly after Cauthen’s departure for a job at Triad Stage.
She has worked at CTG for nearly 19 years, first as administrative assistant. She worked under longtime executive director Mitchel Sommers, until he asked in 2017 to move into a new role supporting the artistic side.
Fulton now leads a 70-year-old nonprofit community organization that produces plays at its own Starr Theatre at 520 S. Elm St. and at the nearby Carolina Theatre, home to its popular annual production of “The Wizard of Oz” in November.
“It will be some change of job responsibilities,” Fulton said. “But I have always loved this community and what CTG offers and the opportunities we give people. ... This is where I see myself taking charge and leading this wonderful organization.”
This year, CTG will celebrate its 70th season and the 25th anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz.”
“We could think of no better person to lead us into that year than someone who has been a part of CTG for nearly 20 years,” board President Doug Heberle said.
A graduate of N.C. A&T, Fulton joined CTG in 2000. She took over its education department in 2005, just as the board adopted a new mission statement, “Bringing our diverse community together to learn about, experience, and celebrate the joys of theater.”
“Roz took that mission statement to heart and made sure it was at the foundation of all CTG’s youth programming,” board member Eleanor Schaffner-Mosh recalled. “She expanded CTG’s educational focus enormously and made sure that CTG really was as inclusive as the aspirational mission statement proclaimed.”
Its educational programs now serve 2,000 to 2,500 people each year.
Fulton brings a broad base of support and contacts within the community and with theater organizations around the country, Heberle said.
She takes its Centerstage Youth Performing Group to the annual Junior Theatre Festival in Atlanta, where they win awards in national competitions.
She is well-known at Music Theatre International, Heberle said. One of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, MTI grants theaters the rights to perform musicals from Broadway and beyond.
CTG operates with an $825,000 annual budget and a staff of three full-time and three part-time employees.
Sommers ran the organization for more than 27 years. He was succeeded in 2017 by Austin Petty, who stepped down and was replaced by Cauthen.
Fulton said she had hesitated then to become executive director because she didn’t want the education department to be neglected.
That was before she hired Philbrick a year ago as her assistant.
“Now is a good time for me to move into this position because we have the proper staff in place,” Fulton said.
More staff positions will be announced in the future to support Fulton, Heberle said.
Sommers, who now serves as theater consultant, is particularly pleased with Fulton’s appointment.
To him, Fulton is like a daughter. “I’ll be very excited to help her in any way I can,” he said.
“She understands how the organization works,” Sommers said, “and CTG cannot survive and thrive without someone at the helm who lives and breathes CTG with love and passion.”