John Munn, a local actor, director and entrepreneur, has just been named Lakewood Playhouse’s new permanent artistic director. The 73-year-old community theater, located in the Lakewood Towne Center mall, lost its director of nearly 10 years, Marcus Walker, when Walker died of cancer early last year. Munn had been temporary managing artistic director since last February.
“I feel like I’m home,” said Munn. “I was blessed to get to know the family at the Playhouse over the last year; it’s been a rare chance that you don’t often get.”
The theatre’s board selected Munn out of a range of candidates. Raised in Tacoma and a graduate of the University of LaVerne in California and Pacific Lutheran University in Parkland, Munn, 46, has also been a prominent actor and director around Tacoma. Having started acting when he was eight in the Tacoma Little Theatre’s Young Actor’s Program, he has just marked his 30th anniversary of acting and 15th of directing at Lakewood Playhouse. Most recently he played Bill Sykes in “Oliver,” and is currently directing “The Farnsworth Invention,” which opens March 2.
He has also served on the boards of both Lakewood Playhouse and Tacoma Little Theatre. For three years, in the early 1990s, he founded and directed new theater company Last Ditch Efforts.
Munn is also the founder and owner of Comic Book Ink, a nine-year-old award-winning comic shop in Lakewood. With an impending announcement of the 2012/13 Playhouse season and “exciting” plans in mind, Munn stressed that he’d be following on from what Marcus Walker had done at the theater.
“I can see all of Marcus’ love everywhere in all those people,” he said. “It’s my honor to continue the road that these people started and see what’s on the horizon.”