September 28, 2006

Shackleton named interim Shryock director

by Tim Crosby

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A Southern Illinois native will head up operations at Southern Illinois University's Shryock Auditorium on an interim basis.

Matthew T. Shackleton will serve as the interim director at the venerable performance facility. He takes over for Robert Cerchio, who is moving to Southeast Missouri State University after almost 30 years at SIUC. Cerchio will serve as assistant director for the School of Visual and Performing Arts at the school's new river campus. His last day at SIUC is Friday (Sept. 29).

Shackleton has worked at Shryock four years, including the last year as assistant director. Previously, he spent three years there as the technical director. He is earning a degree in theater at SIUC and has worked as a production manager and in other stage management roles throughout the country, including productions at Madison Square Garden and the Helen Hayes Theatre in New York City.

Raised in nearby De Soto, Shackleton said he will work hard to maintain operations at Shryock.

"Our goal is to maintain the quality of performances and the level of customer service," he said. "We're always trying to improve."

Shackleton, 30, lives in Carbondale with his wife, Meghan, and two children, Bridget, 8, and Ainsley, 10 months. He will not be a candidate for the permanent position. He also pledged to help in any way he can with the search for a new director.

Catherine A. Hagler, executive director of administration, said Shackleton's experience makes him a good choice for the interim position.

"He's been there since 2003 and has been the second-in-command there for the last year," she said. "He has experience with production, stage management and has been the technical director at Shryock. He was a logical choice for the position."

Hagler said the University will assemble a search committee and advertise nationally to fill the director's position.

"We want someone with a budgeting and business background, but who also has that fine arts and theater experience," she said. "We'd like someone who's worked in the university setting before."

The person also likely will be in charge of booking events for both Shryock and the SIU Arena, as Cerchio has been doing, she said.

"Bob's been here almost 30 years and we're really going to miss him," Hagler said. "At the same time, he's been preparing his staff for this day and delegating responsibility. When he walks out this door, they won't be lost."

Coordinating and expanding major cultural outreach programs is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.


Matthew T. Shackleton

Matthew T. Shackleton
Download Photo Here