Theater Canary, Meet Coal Mine
posted by August 25 at 18:24 PMon
The Seattle Rep just dubbed Jerry Manning—an old man of the mountain in Seattle theater—as its acting artistic director. (How does the Puget Sound Business Journal always get arts-administration stories up so quickly?)
He’s directed some good shows around Seattle. (A few: John Lennon’s Gargoyle at Schmeater, Thom Pain at the Rep, the long-running Stones in His Pockets at the building formerly known as CHAC, the doomed production of Nocturne that ran for two seconds, and so on.)
The Rep is being cagey about whether Manning will slide from “acting artistic director” to “artistic director” once Esbjornson leaves. According to the swifties at PSB:
In his new position as acting artistic director, Manning will work side by side with Managing Director Benjamin Moore while the theater’s board evaluates its organizational model to determine the appropriate artistic and business-management structure.
The board will complete that process before beginning a search for a permanent artistic director.
Locals seems to be winning at the regional theaters lately—just what they’ve always wanted, right? Intiman hires Sheila Daniels (and, to be fair, some guy from Pasadena), the Rep hires Manning, ACT hires Carlo Scandiuzzi, and the shows running at Intiman and ACT? All local actors.
It’s what theater folks have been clamoring for for years—except for the niggling feeling that theaters are doing this out of compulsion, not conviction. Because they can’t afford fancy out-of-towners any more.
Anyway: temporary congratulations to the Rep’s new temporary artistic director. (And apologies for my cynical reading of what is doubtlessly a well-deserved promotion.)