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Culture notes: Gwinnett Ballet names new leader; Theatre in the Square fund-raising update

Gwinnett Ballet names new leader

Gwinnett Ballet Theatre has announced Wade Walthall, whose resume includes stints as a principal dancer with the National Ballet of Holland, National Ballet of Spain and Pacific Northwest Ballet, as artistic director.

Walthall also been a featured guest artist with numerous national and international companies, touring with Rudolph Nureyev and Alexander Gudanov and performing the principal male role in “Nutcracker: The Motion Picture” (1986).

He replaces Lisa Sheppard Robson, a former company mate at Pacific Northwest Ballet.

Walthall is getting right into the mix with GBT, a pre-professional troupe founded in 1977. He has choreographed its next program, “Cinderella,” to be staged at 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. March 3 at Gwinnett Performing Arts Center. HOWARD POUSNER

Theatre in the Square update

By the end of 2011, Marietta’s Theatre in Square raised $297,931 against a $350,000 emergency fund-raising goal that includes a second phase drive to raise an additional $400,000 by June 30.

“We are thrilled with the support the community has shown,” managing director Raye Varney said in a statement, adding that the funding will enable the troupe to finish its 2011-12 season.

Varney said the Marietta theater’s staff, board and key community stakeholders will work to hit the $750,000 final target and to set a new direction for the 30-year-old company.

Board chair Mike Russell said, “We are invested in and committed to saving this valuable organization. … We are confident that Theatre in the Square will serve Cobb County well into the future.”

The theater’s current main stage show, “The Ladies Man,” continues through Feb. 26. Brad Sherrill performs the world premiere of “Red Letter Jesus” in the more intimate Alley Stage starting Feb. 8. Info: HOWARD POUSNER

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