La Jolla Playhouse's new artistic director Anne Hamburger will be moving on after a year of service at the Tony Award-winning San Diego theatre. Named AD of the prestigious company in July 1999, Hamburger now becomes the Executive Vice President of Creative Entertainment for Disney's theme parks and resorts.
Hamburger was the first producer to take the artistic director slot at La Jolla -- both of her predecessors, Des McAnuff and Michael Greif, were directors. Before the Playhouse, Hamburger founded En Garde Arts in 1986. Her company commissioned 25 new works, mainly in New York, but also in Prague, London and Washington, D.C. En Garde Arts won seven Village Voice Obie awards, two Drama Desk awards and a special Outer Critics Circle award during her reign.
Hamburger will remain with the La Jolla until 2001, finishing out the 2000 season she helped plan and beginning the planning for the 2001 season. While she remains, the La Jolla Board of Trustees will initiate a search committee whose purpose will be to find an interim and permanent artistic director.
The La Jolla 2000 season, Hamburger's first and only, includes Federico Garcia Lorca's Blood Wedding, the American premiere of Keith Johnstone's Lifegame (now on its way to New York City), the world premiere of David Grimm's Sheridan, Or Schooled in Scandal (July 18-Aug. 20), the American premiere of David Greig's The Cosmonaut's Last Message to the Woman He Once Loved in the Former Soviet Union (Aug. 1-Sept. 3), Lee Blessing's Going to St. Ives (Sept. 12-Oct. 15) and the world premiere musical Thoroughly Modern Millie (Oct. 3 Nov. 12).
-- By Christine Ehren