Westport a.d. Thompson out

Cites 'artistic and professional differences'

Tazewell Thompson has ankled as a.d. of the Westport Country Playhouse due to “artistic and professional differences” with the board of the Connecticut not-for-profit theater.

Joanne Woodward and Anne Keefe, who helped transform the summer theater from a state of near-demolition in the late 1990s to a modern year-round facility, were named interim co-artistic directors.

The board bought out the third year of Thompson’s three-year contract. The split arose from differences over the future direction of the theater, according to board president Elisabeth Morten, who declined to elaborate.

The first show of the theater’s 2008 season, “Vigil” (also known as “Auntie and Me”), will go on as scheduled next month, helmed by Stephen DiMenna. Daryl Roth and Angelo Fabroni are commercial partners for the production.

But the rest of Thompson’s announced season is expected to be revamped. Included in the Thompson lineup was “Sweet Bird of Youth,” with Phylicia Rashad to be helmed by Thompson.

During his two years at the theater, Thompson attracted shows with commercial attachments that looked to Westport as a tryout town, including “Thurgood,” starring James Earl Jones, and a new version of the Kander and Ebb musical “All About Us.” He also oversaw the switch to year-round programming, including spring and fall shows and a holiday “Christmas Carol.”

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Legit News from Variety