York Little Theatre plans to continue its transition to a business-oriented organization with an executive director.

Lyn Bergdoll, who has been involved in local nonprofits and theater productions, will fill the new position.

YLT formerly had a managing director and artistic director. In 2010, the community theater cut those paid positions as well as its costume coordinator to reduce expenses.

In the past few years, YLT restructured its board and retooled its mission. Those efforts have eliminated the theater's debt and brought more people through the door, YLT board president Mike Ausherman said.

The executive director role was created to oversee fundraising efforts and other theater operations. The board, Ausherman said, looked for candidates with connections in the community. It received about 35 applications and, in the past weeks, narrowed the field to one: Bergdoll.

"She is known for being tenacious and getting done what needs to be done," Ausherman said. "She has incredible energy and enthusiasm. She's taken most of the efforts she's been involved in to the next level."

That's exactly what Bergdoll said she plans to do at YLT. She'll pull from past experience in theater and management roles.

She served as president of Junior Achievement of South Central Pennsylvania for seven years and three years at the organization's worldwide level. She's taught dance at York College for more than 26 years. She's choreographed local and school theater productions, including the 2012 Rosies high school theater awards ceremony. She helms Distinguished Young Women of York County - something she plans to continue.

Bergdoll said she considers YLT a community treasure. She used to dance in shows and recently served on the marketing committee. It was hard to her to see the theater struggle in recent years, but she said the board, volunteers and community have helped turn things around.

To maintain YLT's forward momentun, she plans to be open to new ideas.

"I want to have lengthy discussions with staff and board member and people in the community," Bergdoll said. "We invite people to come and be part of the theater."

She said she also plans to collaborate with local organizations and schools to raise awareness about YLT and attract more participants. One effort - a YLT costume display with the York County Heritage Trust - is planned for next month.

Ausherman said that the theater will work to foster partnerships and sponsorships to raise the final $25,000 of its $350,000 capital campaign goal. In the coming months, he added, the theater will explore interior upgrades.

Ausherman said he'll end his term as board president Sept. 1 on a positive note. Marc Smith, the board vice president, will become president. Bergdoll will begin her executive director duties. And YLT will be preparing to launch its 80th season.

"It couldn't have been better timing for us," said Ausherman, who plans to remain involved at YLT. "We want sustainability. We don't want to get too delighted with our success. There were a lot of folks (who) didn't believe we would do it."

-- Erin McCracken, FlipSide Staff

Coming Sunday:

As York Little Theatre prepares to celebrate its 80th season, locals reminiscence with the York Daily Record/Sunday News' Remember Series. Read YLT memories in Sunday's Living section. Read and listen to more memories and watch a video online at this weekend at ydr.com/remember.