Monday, August 15, 2011

Boston's Publick Theatre Goes on Hiatus

Empty Theatre
(Photo Credit Mark Simpson)

The Boston Globe has the story.

Artistic Director Diego Arciniegas is stepping down.

“It became clear to me that I needed to move on,’’ said Arciniegas, 51, who stepped down in tandem with Publick Theatre Boston producing director Susanne Nitter. “This is something we spent a lot of time talking about.’’

Both Arciniegas and Nitter will remain on the Publick’s board to help with the transition - a process that, he said, might entail spending a year or two interviewing candidates and redefining the theater’s mission.

The Publick, under Diego's leadership, has had some high times (Design for Living,9 Circles) and some troubled times (Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, which resulted in a conflict with the playwright Edward Albee ) in their recent years of residency at the Boston Center for the Arts.

As an organization, The Publick has weathered quite a few financial and executive shakeups. Both those columns were shifting in the sand a number of years back when Spiro Veludos made his departure. The Publick survived.

This seems like purely an artistic departure - the statement to the Globe insists that the Public is doing fine in the economic downturn. However, the final part of the statement does leave the future of the company a little ambiguous.

Last summer, the Publick's outdoor stage at Christian Herter Park (Photo above by Mark Simpson) served as the home of the ever-extending run of the Orfeo Group's The Complete Works of William Shakespeare, Abridged.

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