LOWELL, Mass. — David Kent, in his 10th year as the producing artistic director of Lowell, Mass.’s resident nonprofit Merrimack Repertory Theater, has announced that he will step down from the directorship on or before Dec. 31, 2000, either at the end of the current 1999-2000 season or during the first half of the 2000-2001 season.
The MRT board has just begun its search for Kent’s replacement and has retained Robert Orchard, managing director of the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass., as adviser in its search.
Kent, who said he’s leaving the MRT to pursue “a fabulous new opportunity in the American theater,” stated he still has much to accomplish in his final year at the helm, including moving ahead with plans regarding the theater’s artistic agenda, physical plant, marketing and operational needs, as well as the development of an endowment and the advancement of the theater’s technical facilities.
The MRT has prospered under Kent’s direction. In the past five years, the number of subscribers has increased 50% and is expected to reach between 5,300 and 5,400 by the end of the current season.
The 2000-2001 season is virtually set already. It will include an adaptation of Jane Brox’s “Five Thousand Days Like This One,” the finale of the MRT’s ongoing “The Lowell Trilogy”; August Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”; Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance”; Amy Freed’s “Freedomland”; Tennessee Williams’ “A Streetcar Named Desire”; and Terry Nation’s “Rebecca’s World.”