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County Seat Theater hires general manager

The County Seat Theater Company announces the hire of Joel Soukkala as general manager. This isn't a new role for Soukkala, as he has been the part-time general manager on a volunteer basis since 2007, when the County Seat Theater still performed...

Soukkala

The County Seat Theater Company announces the hire of Joel Soukkala as general manager. This isn't a new role for Soukkala, as he has been the part-time general manager on a volunteer basis since 2007, when the County Seat Theater still performed in the Old Country Church in Atkinson.

Artistic Director Cheryl Kramer-Milder said the role is a perfect one for Soukkala.

"I have been working toward this as a goal for some time," she told the Pine Journal. "I felt that it was very important for the growth of the theater to have a general manager full-time. And Joel is the perfect person for the job. He's well-liked in the community and he has all the skills that we need for that job."

Soukkala's experience with County Seat began in 1993, when he was a senior at Carlton High School. He had his first community theater role that same year in the summer production of "Three on a Bench."

Soukkala has directed both youth and adult shows as well as portrayed a number of major acting roles since his debut in 1993. Soukkala also began directing children's theater in 1999 and through the years has served in numerous positions on the theater's board of directors.

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In 2011, he was part of the production of "Wiley and the Hairy Man," which won awards on a national level. The show will travel to Toyama, Japan, this summer without Soukkala, who will run things at the theater while the Wiley cast and crew travel to the other side of the world.

Soukkala began his official role as general manager on March 15 after leaving a 15-year career at the Pine Journal as the newspaper's production manager, where he was an integral part of the leadership team at the paper.

Since 2008 the County Seat Theater Company has been located in the Encore Performing Arts Center, at 2035 Highway 33 South in Cloquet. Led by Artistic Director Cheryl Kramer-Milder, the theater offers a full season of local performances, as well as youth productions. It also hosts a number of musical acts and an art gallery for local artists.

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