Arvin Brown has announced he will resign as artistic director of Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, effective at the end of the 1996-97 season.
Brown, 55, who is celebrating his 30th year in the post, appears to be departing on amicable terms, reportedly to pursue a career as director of TV and films. Long Wharf spokesperson Robert B. Friend said Brown will continue as an artistic associate of the theatre, directing one show each season.
In accepting Brown's resignation, Long Wharf Board Chairman Fred E. Walker wrote that he was "heartened" Brown would continue as "director/consultant -- to serve on our search committee for your successor, to assist in the transition, to direct at least one play a season, and to give us the sustaining benefit of your discernment and guidance."
Under Brown, Long Wharf produced more than 200 plays, some 70 of which were staged by Brown himself. Many Long Wharf productions transferred to Broadway, most recently Chinese Coffee in 1992. Two productions directed by Brown won Tony Awards as Outstanding Revival: All My Sons in 1987 and Joe Egg in 1985. Brown himself was nominated twice for Tony Awards as Outstanding Director, including Ah! Wilderness in 1976.
His specialty has been realistic American plays of the mid 20th century, often in revival. Notable Brown-directed productions include works by Arthur Miller (The Crucible, A View From the Bridge), Eugene O'Neill (A Touch of the Poet), David Mamet (American Buffalo), Rod Serling (Requiem for a Heavyweight). Brown also has carved out a career as a director of operas, including Porgy and Bess at the Metropolitan Opera in New York.
Friend said Brown, who directed episodes of TV's "Picket Fences" and "Chicago Hope" is on his way to direct episodes of two new ABC-TV series this summer: "Second Noah" and "Relativity." Brown reportedly wants to direct films as well.