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Thursday, April 17, 2008

Hello, I Must Be Going

posted by on April 17 at 16:16 PM

This just in: David Esbjornson, artistic director of Seattle Rep, has decided not to renew his contract. He came to the Rep in 2005 and his contract expires June, 2009.

He’s a fairly taciturn guy (I made up an interview with him when he first got here and was reluctant to speak to the press) and only says, through a Rep spokesperson, that he’s leaving “for a complex of reasons.”

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Hmm. Do you think a local theater artist will be named the new Artistic Director of the Seattle Rep?

Posted by Bub | April 17, 2008 4:54 PM

My copy of 'Angels in America' says he directed the world premieres, so he was always OK in my book. Also, he was savvy enough to snag talent from Washington Ensemble Theater (My Name is Rachel Corrie). Could it be that Seattle audiences are more comfortable with "Shrek" and retreads of 'Cabaret', 'My Fair Lady', and 'Into the Woods'?

Posted by MyDogBen | April 17, 2008 5:16 PM

No, I do not...

...but man, I'd be the first to fucking celebrate if they did.

Posted by Mike Daisey | April 17, 2008 6:06 PM

An artistic director isn't going to be any better or worse because they're from Seattle or from Little Rock -- or from New York, as we have just seen from the past years with Mr. Esbjornson. They just need to be someone who wants to be an AD for Seattle audiences. Like, actually meet them; maybe hang with them. How many of you ever met the guy, even after sitting thru one of the deadly productions since 2005? Bet its almost no one. Spare me from an appointment based on either a preference for home grown talent OR a snobbery for an outsider. Just help the Seattle Repertory Theatre come back, by finding the best leader they can find. David Esbjornson has really hurt that theater, inside and out. Ask anyone who works there, or anyone who goes there.

Posted by Jenny Adams | April 17, 2008 10:54 PM

Just to through a cynical bone in: it might be that the Seattle Rep has become a resume builder within the American Theater world. It is a pit stop for directors on their way to bigger places. Not to diminish the next place, something like going to Yale faculty, or any major theater in New York, or head of the NEA or just tons of freelance work.

May or may not be, but there may be some years of a revolving door of AD's through there.

Posted by GDC | April 18, 2008 12:26 AM

Jenny Adams: Would you please send me an email at or give me a call at 323-7101?


Posted by Brendan Kiley | April 18, 2008 9:33 AM

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