After seven seasons of designing and supervising costumes for dozens of productions at at the Venice Theatre, Nicholas Hartman is moving to New York City to become costume shop manager and resident designer for RWS and Associates, a company that puts together productions for theme parks, cruise ships and other venues.
Hartman, who has won national awards for his designs, recently started his eighth season in Venice, after two years as resident designer at the Manatee Players.
The designer said he wasn't seeking a new position, but "someone, and I don't know who it is yet, submitted my name." Hartman had a phone interview a week ago, was flown to New York for an in-person meeting and was offered the job on Friday.
"It's all been very fast," said Hartman. But that's how things are going to be for him because Hartman said he will have roughly 20 shows to work on as soon as he starts in New York later this month.
His time in Venice has been good preparation, he said. As costume shop manager he supervises the construction of costumes for all the mainstage, Stage II and cabaret productions (more than a dozen a year), and as resident designer he creates the costumes for at least six shows each season.
"To me, it's not going to be that much different," Hartman said
Hartman launched his career in Venice with the Marx Brothers comedy "The Cocoanuts." Last year, received a Best Craftmaship Award for his works at the American Aassociation of Community Theatre's AACT Fest '11 in Rochester, N.Y.
"During his seven-year tenure Nick designed, supervised and built the finest wardrobe we have ever experienced at Venice Theatre," said Murray Chase, the theater's executive/artistic director. "I consider us lucky to have had him for the time we did."
Chase said the theater will conduct a national search for his replacement.