Longtime Morris Performing Arts Center leader retires

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The Morris Performing Arts Center in South Bend, IN. (Photo supplied/ABC 57)

Dennis J. Andres retired at the end of the day, Friday, Aug. 12, after 16 years as Executive Director of the Morris Performing Arts Center.

“I want to thank Dennis Andres for his service to our community,” Mayor Buttigieg said during a ceremony to mark Andres’ retirement. “Dennis brought tremendous drive, energy, and enthusiasm to the Morris and Palais, and the cultural life of our community will benefit from his contributions for years to come.”

Andres was appointed Executive Director of the Morris in May 2000 by former Mayor Stephen J. Luecke. He led the overall management, operation, and programming of events at the Morris.

Andres’ tenure was full of accomplishments:

  • In 2000, for the first time in the history of the theater, the Morris was ranked on Pollstar Magazine’s Top 100 Theaters worldwide (based on ticket sales) and has been ranked on the list every year since then.
  • The Morris has been voted for the national Facilities Magazine “Prime Site Award” for 11 consecutive years from 2006-2016.
  • Andres oversaw a $6.9 million renovation of the historic Palais Royale ballroom in 2012.
  • The most recent Economic Impact Study completed June 2013 by Saint Mary’s College Department of Business Administration and Economics shows that the Morris Center (theater and ballroom) had an economic impact for 2012 of $10.5 million to the City of South Bend. This figures includes a total direct spending inside and outside the Morris and the Palais Royale. It was determined that the Morris theater alone had a $6.7 million dollar impact.
  • In 2013 the Morris was named a runner up for the national “Venue Excellence Award” presented by the International Association of Venue Managers (IAVM).
  • In 2013 the Morris hosted a record-breaking 16 performances each of Broadway blockbuster musicalsWicked and Jersey Boys presented by Broadway Theatre League of South Bend. Wicked will be returning to the Morris for another 16 performances September 7-18, 2016.
  • In 2015 the Morris was awarded the prestigious national “Outstanding Historic Theatre Award” by the League of Historic American Theatres (LHAT).

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