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Thursday, March 1, 2007

New Managing Director at ACT

posted by on March 1 at 19:02 PM

The press release: Susan Trapnell is stepping down as managing director. Jolanne Stanton is stepping up.

What it suggests: That ACT is finally feeling financially healthy again. Trapnell had been a managing director at ACT from 1982-1998 and when the shit hit the fan in 2003, they called her back to save the day. We can infer that, four years later, the day has been saved.

Now Trapell is going to work as ACT’s first Executive Director of Endowment Funding, to build a big cushion whose interest will be a significant source of institutional funding. ACT’s current endowment is around $2 million. The Rep’s is around $15 million.

The new managing director doesn’t have much theater-management experience—she has served on ACT’s board for about a year—but has served on various committees at Princeton for over a decade.

Kurt Beattie remains the artistic director.

Correction: The Rep’s endowment is around $18 million.

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Come on now. You can't write a post like that without a detailed explanation of exactly how and why ACT was fucked up so fast. I must know!

Posted by alto | March 1, 2007 5:31 PM

Oh, that's easy: The previous artistic director Gordon Edlestein spend all the money on big productions with out of town actors. He then hid the losses and financial problems from the board until the theater was $300k in the whole (or something like that- I seem to remember they need $300k or they were closing down). Then he split for another job (I don't remember, again, but I thought he had taken another job and the money problems came to light after he announced he was leaving- they two events were close together).

I am open to correction but that is how I remember it. I am sure there are other factors at play, but “East Coast Carpet Bagger Attempts to Destroy West Coast Theater” is basically it.

Posted by GDC | March 1, 2007 5:54 PM

Let us not forget a Board of Trustees far too trusting and asleep at the helm...

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 1, 2007 6:56 PM

Things were messed up way before Edlestein. In fact the messing up happened when Trapnell was there for her first stint.

Posted by Charlatan | March 2, 2007 9:54 AM

In all honesty, the big mess up was leaving the base of Q.A. - now On The Boards - and moving downtown into the Eagles Building, in the first place - everything flows from that decision. But that's another story.

Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 2, 2007 10:14 AM

Care to elaborate, Charlatan?

Posted by Brendan Kiley | March 2, 2007 10:16 AM

Susan Trapnell has never been asleep at the helm of ACT theatre. She has in fact been the strongest bone in the body of the organization and deserves better than snide comments from uninformed people who cannot provide ANY facts. Despite the efforts of ignorant artistic directors like Edelstien, SHE SAVED ACT. Her energy, influence and inspiring actions made it possible to keep this great Seattle theater going. Shame on anybody who suggets differently.

Posted by KBE | March 2, 2007 3:04 PM

Shame rests with people who make inflammatory comments, complete with capital letters, anonymously.

As for both my comments above, KBE[sic], I stand by them.


Posted by Laurence Ballard | March 2, 2007 4:08 PM

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