Spiro Veloudos Announces His Retirement as Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston

Stepping away from the day-to-day operations of the theatre, he will focus on his greatest passion: directing.

Spiro Veloudos, legendary theatre director and Boston theatre icon, announced today that he is retiring from his role as Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

“Ever since I started in this role in 1998, I promised to make the Lyric Stage ever more vibrant and to continually push my limits, producing shows that would challenge, entertain, and inspire our audiences. When I concluded my Sondheim Initiative with the production of Pacific Overtures this past spring, I took the summer off to contemplate what might be next, and I realized that it is time for me to focus solely on my work as a director and to let others manage the daily operations of the theatre and to guide it into the future. I am greatly looking forward to my productions of Agatha Christie’s Murder on the Orient Express this fall and A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder in the spring. And I hope that moving into this new chapter of my life will allow me more time to relax, enjoy being with friends and family, and focus more exclusively on my true love: directing.”

During Veloudos’ tenure, the Lyric Stage has won 40 Elliot Norton Awards, 69 Independent Reviewers of New England awards, and Veloudos himself has been the recipient of the StageSource Theatre Hero Award, the Elliot Norton Award for Sustained Excellence, and he was named Best Artistic Director by Boston Magazine. In 2017, Veloudos suffered a diabetes-related infection that caused him to lose his left leg below the knee.

Undaunted, Veloudos celebrated his 20th season as Producing Artistic Director and directed Camelot that spring. He is now energetically following his passion for directing, and will be at the helm of two productions at the Lyric Stage this season.

Matt Chapuran

The Lyric Stage Board of Directors has also announced that former Managing Director Matt Chapuran returned to the company on October 1 in the newly created position of Executive Director. Associate Artistic Director Courtney O’Connor will be serving as Acting Artistic Director.

Jo-An Heileman, Lyric Stage Board president, said, “We thank Spiro for his years of dedication and artistic achievements with the Lyric Stage. Over the last two decades, he has made the Lyric Stage into one of the most important and vibrant artistic institutions in Boston, providing intimate world-class theatre to nearly 40,000 audience members each season. We wish Spiro the absolute best on his continuing artistic journey. During Matt Chapuran’s five seasons as Managing Director, the Lyric Stage staff and board were energized with ambitious ideas and a desire to more deeply serve the city of Boston and to collaborate with other Boston artistic institutions. We believe in this new expanded role of Executive Director, Matt will take the Lyric Stage to the next level.”

Chapuran said, “Back in the mid-90s, I was an intern for an improvisational after-school program that Ron Ritchell and Polly Hogan had running at the Lyric Stage. It was my pleasure to be in Boston for the entirety of Spiro’s run at the Lyric Stage, where he really transformed the Boston theatre scene for the better. He staunched the flood of theatrical talent from Boston to New York, and took on impressive musicals that no one else would have had the daring or wit to stage in our intimate theatre. Working at the Lyric Stage was a joyful experience for me, and I’m so happy to be able to give back to a company that has given me so much.”

Spiro Veloudos’ Major Achievements as Lyric Stage Producing Artistic Director

Served 21 years as Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage.
Directed more than 65 productions over 35 years.
The Spiro Veloudos Sondheim Initiative: directing 10 Sondheim productions in 20 seasons.
Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award, Salem State University, 2011
Elliot Norton Award, Sustained Excellence, 2006
StageSource Theatre Hero Award, 2003

Spiro Veloudos has served 21 seasons as Producing Artistic Director of the Lyric Stage. During the last two seasons he directed The Roommate, Pacific Overtures, Souvenir, and Road Show. In previous seasons, he directed Company, Camelot, Sondheim on Sondheim, Peter and the Starcatcher, Sweeney Todd, City of Angels, Into the Woods (Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Awards for Best Director, Best Musical, and Best Ensemble), One Man, Two Guvnors, Death of a Salesman (IRNE Award for Best Play),The Mikado, 33 Variations, On the Town, Avenue Q (Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Musical and Outstanding Ensemble, five IRNE Awards including Best Musical and Best Director), The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby (Elliot Norton Award for Best Production and Best Director, five IRNE Awards including Best Director), Big River, Superior Donuts, Animal Crackers, Blithe Spirit, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill, and Kiss Me, Kate. Spiro received the Lifetime Achievement in the Arts Award from Salem State College. He was the recipient of the 2006 Elliot Norton Prize for Sustained Excellence. During his tenure, the Lyric Stage has earned numerous awards and honors including Elliot Norton Awards for Outstanding Production (Nicholas Nickleby, Speech & Debate, Miss Witherspoon, The Old Settler), and Outstanding Musical Production (Sunday in the Park with George); IRNE Awards for Outstanding Production (Nicholas Nickleby, The Old Settler, Glengarry Glen Ross), and Outstanding Musical Production (Grey Gardens, Urinetown: The Musical, A Little Night Music, Sunday in the Park with George). His numerous directing credits at the Lyric Stage include A Little Night Music (IRNE Award for Direction), Glengarry Glen Ross (IRNE Award), Sunday in the Park with George (Best of the Year in Boston’s Globe, Herald, and Phoenix; Elliot Norton and IRNE Award for direction), Assassins (Best Production of 1998: The Boston Globe), Lost in Yonkers, Never the Sinner: The Leopold and Loeb Story (Elliot Norton Award, along with Assassins), and Speed-the-Plow (Elliot Norton for Outstanding Production). Mr. Veloudos received StageSource’s Theatre Hero Award (2003) and was named Best Artistic Director by Boston Magazine in 1999. He served as the president for the Producers’ Association of New England Area Theatres from 2008 to 2018, and is adjunct faculty in Performing Arts at Emerson College.

Matt Chapuran (Executive Director) was the Managing Director of the Lyric Stage from 2014 to 2018.  He was previously Managing Director of Stoneham Theatre, where he co-produced over 70 plays, musicals, concerts, and educational productions for an annual audience that grew to over 50,000. During his tenure, Matt ran the 2010 Boston Marathon with Producing Artistic Director Weylin Symes in support of Stoneham Theatre’s educational mission. At the Nora Theatre Company, Matt was Managing Director during the inception of a capital campaign that ultimately led to the construction of the Central Square Theater. Matt also managed institutional giving for the Huntington Theatre Company, and was most recently the Director of Development for Conservatory Lab Charter School Foundation in Dorchester. A graduate of Boston College with an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Emerson College, Matt has performed, taught, and directed improvisation for over two decades, most recently as a part of Babson College’s M.B.A. program, as one half of the improv team The Angriest Show in the World, and as the director of Improvised History. He lives in Roslindale with his wife and their three daughters.

Production photos from Spiro Veloudos’ Sondheim Initiative:          

Below is a complete list of productions Spiro Veloudos has directed at the Lyric Stage, along with awards won for those productions.

1985-86 Cat on a Hot Tin Roof  
1986-87 Quartermaine’s Terms  
1987-88 The Common Pursuit  
1988-89 Not about Heroes  
1989-90 Otherwise Engaged
A Shaina Maidel
1990-91 Misalliance
1992-93 American Buffalo  
1993-94 The Substance of Fire  
1996-97 Speed-the-Plow Elliot Norton, Best Production
1998-99 Lost in Yonkers
Never the Sinner
Elliot Norton, Best Director
Elliot Norton, Best Director
Elliot Norton, Best Director
1999-00 She Loves Me
The Comedy of Errors
The Judas Kiss
2000-01 No Way to Treat a Lady
Curse of the Bambino
2001-02 Sunday In the Park with George
Glengarry Glen Ross
Elliot Norton, Best Director, Best Musical IRNE, Best Musical, Best Director
IRNE, Best Production, Best Director
2002-03Dirty Blonde
It’s All True
Side Show
2003-04Book of Days
The Spitfire Grill
Noises Off
2004-05A Little Night Music
Fully Committed
Shakespeare in Hollywood
IRNE, Best Musical, Best Director

A Number
THE GOAT, or Who Is Sylvia?
Kong’s Night Out
IRNE, Best Musical, Best Director

Arms and the Man
2007-08Man of La Mancha
Three Tall Women
The Importance of Being Earnest
IRNE, Best Musical

The Mystery of Irma Vep
Grey Gardens

IRNE, Best Musical, Best Director
2009-10Kiss Me, Kate
Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill
Blithe Spirit
2010-11The Life and Adventures of Nicholas Nickleby
Animal Crackers
Elliot Norton, Best Production, IRNE, Best Director, Best Production, Best Ensemble
2011-12Big River
Superior Donuts
Avenue Q

Elliot Norton, Best Musical, Best Ensemble, IRNE, Best Musical, Best Director
2012-13The Mikado
33 Variations
On the Town
2013-14One Man, Two Guvnors
Death of a Salesman
Into the Woods

IRNE, Best Play
Elliot Norton, Best Director, Best Production, IRNE, Best Director, Best Musical, Best Ensemble
2014-15Sweeney Todd
City of Angels
2015-16Sondheim on Sondheim
Peter and the Starcatcher
Road Show
2018-19The Roommate
Pacific Overtures

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