Tyler Kercher has been putting the T in PLT (Pensacola Little Theatre) since he joined the crew in May 2015. The executive director of PLT is a fellow Pensacolian and graduate of the University of West Florida and he is bringing his creative business mind to one of the oldest continually operating theatres in the Southeast.
What did you do before joining PLT?
After college, I was hired as the executive director of SkillsUSA Florida, a non-profit student organization that prepared technical students for the workforce. In that role, I oversaw 10,000 high school and technical school students, 2,000 instructors, and fostered industry partnerships across the state.
What are you bringing to the table as the new executive director?
I am always looking for new and exciting ways to reach and exceed our goals at PLT. Our formula is quite simple: we are constantly evaluating our performance. We find out what we are doing well and do more of that. Likewise, we take what has not been successful and do less of that.
What are some of your responsibilities?
I ensure that the mission, vision, and goals of the organization, as determined by the Board of Trustees, are executed in our operations. I oversee a staff of eight individuals with a diverse pool of talents. Additionally, I focus on grant-writing, fundraising, and managing the leases for the tenants of the Pensacola Cultural Center.
What are some of the challenges you face?
There is truly something new to do every single day. What has been the most challenging, so far, has been the urge to tackle too many tasks at one time. We are excited to address facility needs, such as expanding the women’s bathrooms, updating the 1990s decor, improving theatre lighting, and digitizing the sound. Without a winning Powerball ticket, we will have to continue with our plan to pursue these improvements over time!
What are your plans for PLT?
Many people don’t know the rich history of the Pensacola Little Theatre. We were incorporated in 1936 as part of FDR’s New Deal, under the Works Progress Administration. PLT is the oldest continually operating theatre in the Southeast, and we celebrate our 80th year in 2016. My plans for PLT are to highlight that rich tradition in Pensacola and broaden our audience base. We recognize that many people haven’t stepped foot into our building, which is rich in history itself (since it’s the old Escambia County Court of Records and Jail from 1911), and we want to change that. Through diversifying show selection, and broadening our offerings to the community, we seek to be an anchor of the arts in Downtown Pensacola.
Why is it an exciting time to be part of PLT?
PLT is in the heart of a booming Downtown Pensacola. We are a stone’s throw from the activity on Gallery Nights and festivals in Seville Square. We are ready to make PLT more visible to the community and share this tradition with the Pensacola community.
Is there anything else readers should know about you and your involvement with PLT?
I am honored to serve as executive director at the Pensacola Little Theatre, but I am just a piece of the wheel in this operation. We have an outstanding and knowledgeable staff that deserves all the credit in the world. Furthermore, PLT wouldn’t exist without the dedication of an extensive list of volunteers. Between the Pensacola Little Theatre Guild, the Board of Trustees, the Artistic Committee, the Treehouse Committee, costumers, set designers, lighting and sound designers, painters, carpenters, engineers, stagehands, stage managers, production managers, directors, choreographers, music directors, musicians, ushers, house managers, and actors, we are able to provide such a great service to the community. Last year, over 1,000 individuals logged community service hours here at the theatre, totaling over 100,000 community service hours.