In episode 09 of underXposed, co-host Vivian Phillips ponders how as we enter the third pandemic year, vaccines and other technologies have allowed arts venues to re-open, but it's anything but business as usual. Guest Josh Labelle heads Seattle Theatre Group, and he and his organization have been at the frontlines when it comes to rewriting the rules for presenting performances to live audiences. From regular COVID testing for artists and organization employees to re-imagining digital content, STG has helped pave the way for other presenters. Josh spoke to Vivian about his dreams, fears, and what he's most looking forward to.
"It's my job to wake up everyday optimistic. I have to believe that performing arts will not just survive but will thrive." -- Josh Labelle
ABOUT THIS EPISODE'S GUEST
Josh LaBelle grew up in Southern California and graduated from UCLA with a degree in World, Art & Culture. He spent four years with William Morris Agency in Los Angeles, starting in the mailroom and eventually working as an assistant in the Music Division booking concerts. He spent several years working as a musician, primarily with T-Bone Burnett & Sam Phillips, recording and touring. He moved to Seattle in 1996 and soon began working with The Paramount & Moore Theatres in programming. Since May 2001, Mr. LaBelle has been serving as Executive Director of Seattle Theatre Group, a nonprofit performing arts organization, overseeing the operations of the historic Paramount, Moore & Neptune Theatres. STG serves the community by caring for 3 historic theatres, presenting more than 600 performances each year, and producing a multitude of education & community programs. Josh has served on the board of Washington State Arts Alliance, Spectrum Dance Theatre, and the Downtown Seattle Historic Theatre District. And, he still plays drums and is in a band called Bottle of Sound. Mr. LaBelle loves dogs, good food, vintage drums, and most of all, the love of his life, his wife Colleen LaBelle, and their two children, Julia and Levi.