Esbjornson, who has been with Seattle Rep since 2005, informed the company's board of trustees on April 17 that he will not renew his contract, which is set to conclude June 30, 2009.
Esbjornson – currently finalizing the 2008-2009 season at Seattle Rep – said in a statement, "I have been extremely grateful for the opportunity to work at the Seattle Repertory Theatre, and want to thank the Board of Trustees, subscribers, donors and the staff for their support during my tenure. I also want to acknowledge the world-class talent from Seattle and elsewhere who have brought the highest quality work to our stage. The next season will celebrate Seattle's vibrant artistic community. I look forward to presenting an exciting lineup of plays and continue what promises to be a rich and important dialogue about the future."
Marty Taucher, president of Seattle Rep's board of trustees, states that the theatrical institute will begin talks in the coming months to find a new artistic director for the acclaimed company.
In addition to his extensive work with Seattle Rep and other regional institutes, Esbjornson has helmed the Broadway productions of The Goat, or Who Is Sylvia and The Ride Down Mt. Morgan.
Works currently under consideration for Seattle Rep's 2008-2009 season include Doug Wright's Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning work I Am My Own Wife; Ken Ludwig's comedic take on The Three Musketeers; George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's You Can't Take it With You; Pinter's Betrayal; Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men; a new adaptation of Ibsen's The Master Builder; and Octavio Solis' new work, Lydia. Other possibilities are Beckett's Waiting for Godot starring Tony Award winner Bill Irwin; Charlayne Woodard's The Night Watcher to be directed by Dan Sullivan; Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Boom; 1001 by Jason Grote; Ellen McLaughlin's one-woman work Penelope, which was developed as part of the 2007 Women Playwrights Festival; and Neil LaBute's Fat Pig.
Seattle Repertory Theatre is located at 155 Mercer Street in Seattle, WA. Tickets and further information are available by calling (206) 443-2222, toll free at (877) 900-9285 or online at seattlerep.org.
Founded in 1963, Seattle Repertory Theatre was awarded the 1990 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. With an emphasis on entertaining plays of true dramatic and literary worth, Seattle Rep produces a subscription season of plays along with educational programs, new play workshops and special presentations.