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Saturday, January 25, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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CST undergoes change at top

Laura Little is stepping down as executive director of Coeur d’Alene Summer Theatre.

Little, who took over the company after it was shuttered for a time in 2013, is leaving to concentrate on producing “Traditions of Christmas” in Coeur d’Alene and in Nampa, Idaho. She also will co-produce “Come From Away” on Broadway in early 2017. She already has a Tony Award as a producer for the musical “Peter and the Starcatcher,” which CST will stage this coming season.

Taking over is Tracey Vaughan, who currently is the theater teacher at Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy. Vaughan, who directed the North Idaho College revival of “The Diary of Anne Frank” in 2013, also has worked with the former Lake City Playhouse. She has a bachelor’s degree in theater and literature from the University of Idaho, where she also earned a Master of Fine Arts in theater.

In a news release, Vaughan said, “It is an honor to be a part of an organization that brings positive influences through high quality theater to North Idaho. I consider myself the luckiest girl in Coeur d’Alene – this is a dream come true for me.”

Little pledges a smooth transition. “Tracey and I will work closely together during the transition and I am confident that the theater will thrive under her leadership,” she said in the release.

One of Little’s final tasks for CST has been organizing a new fundraiser, Dancing with Celebrities, on April 22. The celebrities include NIC athletic director Al Williams, KREM reporters Lindsay Nadrich and Molly Trotter, Post Falls City Council member Kerri Thoreson and Eve Knudtsen of Knudtsen Chevrolet. Tickets are $20, and the event will be at the Coeur d’Alene Kroc Center. Call (208) 660-2958 or visit for more information.

Meanwhile, at Civic

With the forthcoming departure of executive director Keith Dixon at Spokane Civic Theatre, the company has reached back into its past to find temporary leadership.

Jack Phillips, who ran the theater from 1991 to 2004, will step in on an interim basis as the board conducts a national search for Dixon’s replacement. Phillips also will direct Civic’s season-opening production of “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.”

“My job is to help the board make as smooth and professional a transition to new leadership as I can,” he said in news release. “I have a great respect for the work of the staff and volunteers, and it’s exciting to be a part of that again.”

After being fired from Civic in 2004, Phillips spent five years as artistic director of the Theatre of Western Springs in Illinois. He’s worked as a guest director at theater companies across the country, and he returned to Spokane in 2014 to direct “Wait Until Dark” at the former Interplayers.

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