FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 18, 2011
Local Press Contact:
Tara C. Perkins, Director of Public Relations, Lake Champlain Maritime Festival
[email protected] | (917) 865-8665
CT Press Contact:
Ken Hays, Owner of Terrapin Presents, Inc. | Gathering of the Vibes Festival
[email protected] | (203) 948-5505
Flynn Center Memorial Service Planned for Michael J. Potashnick, Beloved Production, Stage,
Site Manager and Emcee for Concerts, Events and Festivals throughout the Northeast
BURLINGTON, VT—On Monday, January 10, 2011, Michael J. “Mike P.” Potashnick passed away unexpectedly. Potashnick resided in Essex Junction, VT. He was 52 years old.
Potashnick was born on October 7, 1958, in Trenton, NJ and was raised in Morrisville, PA, later moving to CT. He studied theatre at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, performing in more than 85 plays and musicals, including appearances on the popular soap operas, General Hospital and Another World. In 2006, Potashnick relocated from CT to VT, where he was best known in his fundamental roles as Production, Stage and Site Manager at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, Burlington Discover Jazz Festival, Lake Champlain Maritime Festival and Burlington’s First Night, among other events in the Burlington, VT region. He was also a perennial favorite presence at the annual Gathering of the Vibes Festival in Bridgeport, CT, acting as Production Manager from 1996-2004 and Co-emcee from 2004 until present. Potashnick supported local charities, caroling during Christmas at nursing homes, playing Santa at Children’s Hospitals and organizing fundraisers, such as Toys for Tots.
A celebration of Michael Potashnick’s life, including a special presentation, will be held on Sunday, February 13, 2011 from 2:00 – 5:00pm at the Flynn Center for the Performing Arts, located at 153 Main Street in Burlington, Vermont. The event is open to the public. Details regarding a separate CT memorial will be available soon.
Those who would like to contribute stories, photos, videos or sound clips to be included in the memorial services can do so at: http://bit.ly/MJPMemories or by email to: [email protected] by Tuesday, January 25, 2011. Those who plan to attend the Memorial are asked to RSVP via http://bit.ly/MJPMemorialVT. Those who wish to contribute otherwise are kindly asked to donate to the United Way in lieu of flowers.
A quote on the Lake Champlain Maritime Festival website, read, “We are greatly saddened with the loss of such an amazing person, a hard worker, an intelligent and beyond funny guy, and a loyal and precious friend to so many. Mike had his hand in just about every concert or festival in this region. His reputation was excellent and he knew exactly what needed to be done and did it well. Mike was innovative, passionate about his job and his friends…things will never be the same without you.”
The Burlington Discover Jazz festival Facebook page reads: “We are still in shock and are incredibly saddened by the passing of Mike Potashnick, a prince of production throughout this region. It’s hard to imagine doing this Festival without Mike P.”
Potashnick graced many stages and led thousands of stage crews during his illustrious career. Many festival and concert attendees remember Potashnick’s boisterous personality, booming voice and infectious laugh. While he was highly respected within the music industry, Potashnick’s fellow crew also considered him family. His passions were music, stage, theatre and people. Potashnick was known as a loyal friend and devoted crew leader who was meticulous about his responsibilities. He always had a solution to any challenge and gave excellent, supportive direction to those with whom he worked.
Michael Potashnick is survived by his father, William Potashnick; stepmother, Peg Potashnick; brother David Potashnick; and ex-wife Marianne Castaldo. He is pre-deceased by his loving mother, Louise Potashnick; and Dee Dee, his beloved dog and best friend.