WHAT taps Hough

By Mark Shanahan & Meredith Goldstein
Globe Staff / August 31, 2011

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A former fund-raiser for New York City cultural institutions who went on to head the State Theatre in New Brunswick, N.J., is the new executive director of Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater. Mark Hough, 54, WHAT’s managing director since March, has been tapped to lead the company, which longtime artistic director Jeff Zinn is departing at the end of the season in October. Praising the “risks and successes’’ that have characterized WHAT’s work, Hough (pronounced “Huff’’) called money the group’s greatest challenge. Now with a year-round stage in addition to its seasonal theater, WHAT needs to expand its donor and audience bases, he said, by doing more off-season presenting and forging more partnerships with arts and educational institutions on and off Cape Cod. “We still have a commitment to the theater we’ve done before,’’ he said, vowing to move “more aggressively’’ to fill seats. “When a theater is not lit,’’ he said, “it’s very sad.’’