Former artistic director of Seattle's Annex Theatre Allison Narver will become the Empty Space's new artistic director in Feb. 2001 when current AD Eddie Levi Lee departs to pursue independent writing, directing and acting work.
Narver has been busy the last year working as resident director of The Lion King on Broadway. A Northwest native, she has worked in a variety of Seattle houses including The Space, A Contemporary Theatre and then as literary manager and finally artistic director at Annex Theatre. She served from 1989 to 1995, during which the company produced more than 100 plays, including 60 world premieres. At the Empty Space, she recently helmed Texarkana Waltz and will stage the company's Great Men of Science Nos. 21 & 22 or Our Great Labours in June.
Due to directing responsibilities (she will head the New York and Maine stagings of the new musical Leaving Queens), Narver will not take her full-time responsibilties at the Empty Space until April 2001.
Lee, the man Narver replaces, is a playwright and director whose credits include the musical Wuthering! Heights! The! Musical! and Expressions of the Spirit: Tales of the Brothers Grimm. In fact, it was first as playwright and actor that he came to the Empty Space; he starred in his own Some Things You Need to Know Before the World Ends: A Final Evening with the Illuminati in March 1993. His eight seasons with the theatre have brought the company 14 world premieres, 19 regional and West Coast premieres and entry into the National Arts Stabilization program.
After leaving Empty Space, Lee will direct his Wuthering! Heights! for Actors Theatre of Louisville before bringing God's Man in Texas to Atlanta's Alliance Theatre. Currently he is performing in Mass Appeal at the Taproot Theatre. Empty Space's final Lee-planned season (his eighth) includes Charles Ludlam's little known comedy, Reverse Psychology (Nov. 3-Dec. 16), Daniel Goldfarb's Adam Baum and the Jew Movie (Jan. 5, 2001-Feb. 10), Jose Rivera's References to Salvidor Dali Make Me Hot (Feb. 23 March 24), Tracy Letts' Killer Joe (April 6-May 19) and Glen Berger's Great Men of Science Nos. 21 & 22 or Our Great Labours (June 1-July 14).
-- By Christine Ehren