Vice chairman Pepe sez exit was a mutual decision

NEW HAVEN, Conn. — Michael Stotts is ankling as managing director of New Haven, Conn.’s Long Wharf Theater due to “philosophical conflicts with the board about how the theater should be run.”

Stotts declined to detail the conflicts other than to say there were clashes between him and some board members. “There is a culture of governance that made it very difficult. The theater for a number of years has had some issues, and they didn’t go away during my tenure.”

Mary Pepe, the board’s vice chairman, said, “(The exit was) a mutual decision based on style and philosophical differences relative to management of the theater. It wasn’t a good fit.”

Stotts took over the theater in early 2003 shortly after Gordon Edelstein became artistic director in 2002 and Jerome Meyer was taking over as board president. The trio was presented as a new era of leadership after the controversial resignation of a.d. Doug Hughes in 2001.

Stotts’ exit comes as the theater is planning a $60 million relocation and expansion to downtown New Haven.

Previously, Stotts was managing director at George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., and managing director of the New Jersey Shakespeare Festival in Madison, N.J. Prior to that, he worked at the Manhattan Theater Club in New York City.

“My future plans are to explore other opportunities in the theater,” said Stotts.

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