By Evelyn Peregrin
Ed Kirchdoeffer tries not to get in the way of the celebrities that come to perform at the Mayo Performing Arts Center (MPAC) in Morristown, N.J.
As the general manager of the non-profit organization, Kirchdoeffer is involved with the strategic planning of events and oversees the marketing, education, and the box office departments, leaving most interactions with the performers to the production team.
“For the most part, the performers have a job to do, and we let them do it,” Kirchdoeffer said, although there are exceptions to that rule.
The walls of his office don’t lend to his personality save for a poster of David Sedaris, humorist and comedic writer, reminding Kirchdoeffer of the occasion he gave Sedaris a ride from the hotel to the MPAC in his Honda civic.
A crumpled up tie lay on Kirchdoeffer’s shelf in an office just large enough to do a push up in. Sunlight filtered through the single window, warming the room despite the premature October chill.
“This job requires you to wear many hats,” Kirchdoeffer said. Sometimes, I’ll jump in an event and be the photographer.” For him, being general manager includes chauffeuring and giving comedian Jim Gaffigan good directions when he gets lost in New Jersey.
Located in Morristown, New Jersey, the MPAC “presents a wide range of programs that entertain, enrich, and educate the diverse population of the region and enhance the economic vitality of Northern New Jersey,” according to the mission statement at http://www.mayoarts.org.
The organization prides themselves on knowing the locals and having regular volunteers that come back year after year and build the sense of community, according to Kirchdoeffer. He works hard to sustain a connection to the community. He attends two thirds of events to make sure if someone complains about a particular show he understand why and can respond knowledgably.
“What I like most about my job is watching people leave with positive memories. I love standing by an exit after the show and seeing everyone leave happy,” Kirchdoeffer said.
Event schedules and tickets for purchase can be found at their website www.mayoarts.org. Upcoming events include Alec Baldwin, Andy Grammer and Gavin DeGraw.