New GPT leader brings marketing background, passion for the arts

By: K. Michelle Moran | Grosse Pointe Times | Published March 13, 2018

GROSSE POINTE CITY — Like so many of the actors and behind-the-scenes volunteers who work on Grosse Pointe Theatre shows, new GPT Executive Director Linda Zublick became active in community theater through her family.

Zublick, of Royal Oak, said she’s been dancing since she was 5 years old and still teaches dance on the side. However, it wasn’t until her son auditioned for a youth show with Stagecrafters community theater in Royal Oak about 20 years ago that she became active in theater.

“I started volunteering for them, and I got hooked,” said Zublick, who ended up choreographing, directing and producing shows, as well as spending more than 10 years on the Stagecrafters board of directors and working on various Stagecrafters committees. Zublick’s husband, David, and their son and daughter — now both young adults — all worked on shows.

“It was definitely a family affair,” Zublick said.

Hired by GPT in January, Zublick will be responsible for the nonprofit community theater group’s financial and organizational operations, along with donor development, fundraising and support of GPT’s strategic plan and mission. Prior to being hired by GPT, Zublick spent nearly 30 years working for Warren-based C & G Newspapers — the parent company of the Grosse Pointe Times — where she worked in advertising sales and, more recently, as the marketing coordinator. Zublick, who earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Michigan State University, worked closely with nonprofits on sponsorships and partnerships with C & G.

“We tried to work with as many as possible,” she said. “There are a lot of good organizations out there. As good community stewards, we wanted to (help) as much as possible.”

Her unique background was one of the reasons GPT leaders felt she was the ideal candidate.

“We are absolutely thrilled to have Linda Zublick as Grosse Pointe Theatre’s executive director,” GPT Board President Jef Fisk said via email. “Her wealth of experience in theater, coupled with her marketing and media experience, will be a perfect fit as we move through our current transition period toward the next chapter in Grosse Pointe Theatre’s long history.”

Zublick grew up in New Jersey, but said she “only saw a few” Broadway shows as a kid. When she started volunteering with Stagecrafters, she discovered that she enjoyed producing and directing as well as the organizational work that goes into maintaining a nonprofit.

“I really have a passion for theater and always thought that if I could take my passion for theater and my background in marketing and communications and put them together, that would be (perfect),” she said.

Amy Wilson worked with Zublick on many projects at Stagecrafters, including several shows the two of them co-produced. In an email interview, Wilson said GPT is “very lucky to have her.”

“The words I would use to best describe her are ‘loyal,’ ‘steadfast,’ ‘committed’ and a ‘problem-solver,’” Wilson said. “I remember on numerous occasions when I would be overwhelmed with a problem we were facing during a production. Linda would just calmly roll up her sleeves and brainstorm the best way to conquer our challenge. She has a knack for looking at something in a completely different way than others did and would see the solution to our problem in an area no one else had even thought to look for it. She also brought her steadfast calm demeanor, a definite gift when dealing with the stress of deadlines and the multiple personality types that make up the typical cast and crew of a community theater production.”

Linda Reid, the director of membership for the Grosse Pointe Chamber of Commerce, worked closely with Zublick at C & G Newspapers, where Reid formerly worked as an advertising sales representative. Having known Zublick for several years, Reid believes Zublick will do great things for GPT.

“When I think of what Linda brings to the table from C & G, it would be how creative, articulate and passionate she is in every aspect of her life, business and personal,” Reid said by email. “Theater has always been her true love, and now she gets to spotlight Grosse Pointe Theatre in her new position.”

Wilson echoed that sentiment.

“She is a strong supporter of the arts and of the community and will be an incredible asset to Grosse Pointe Theatre,” Wilson said.

Longtime GPT member Theresa Selvaggio, the past GPT Board president, knows that Zublick is joining GPT at a pivotal time in its history. Last year, GPT staged its last production at its longtime stage home at The War Memorial in Grosse Pointe Farms; after more than 50 years of using The War Memorial auditorium, the two nonprofits parted ways because of The War Memorial’s plans to convert its auditorium into a movie theater, a plan that was on hold at press time.

GPT has spent its 2017-18 season — its 70th anniversary season — using stages and auditoriums in the Grosse Pointe Public School System and at University Liggett School. GPT hopes to have a more permanent home in the coming years, and it’s been in talks with Grosse Pointe Park officials about possibly occupying an art center that the city hopes to build with the help of local philanthropists. Selvaggio said GPT and its many volunteers have been grateful for the support and encouragement they’ve received from the community during this transitional period.

“As GPT celebrates its (70th) season, we are thrilled to have Linda join us,” Selvaggio said by email. “Her experience in the nonprofit sector for the performing arts makes her a great fit. Linda understands how important volunteers are and has strong development skills for fundraising and grant writing. She is very practical, a great listener (and) an excellent writer with years of marketing experience. We reviewed many resumes and Linda’s talent, experience and passion for theater made her our choice.

“Linda will also be an important support as we continue to work hard on a permanent home for GPT.”

Zublick is looking forward to helping GPT achieve its long-term goals of finding a new home and reaching out to new patrons and donors.

“I’m coming in at an exceptional time for Grosse Pointe Theatre, because we are looking at a new facility in the next couple of years,” she said. “It’s an exciting time to be here and to help them plan for the future.”

At press time, GPT was in the midst of staging its latest show, the musical comedy “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying,” which runs through March 24 at Pierce Middle School in Grosse Pointe Park. For more about GPT, visit its website at or call the box office at (313) 881-4004.