The resignation came days after the company canceled the 2006-07 season because it did not have enough funds to carry out Stiefel's ambitious plans.
"One of the deciding factors in this decision was the cancellation last week of the 2006-2007 season, which had been in the planning stages for eighteen months and was ready for rehearsals to start in September," Stiefel said in a statement.
The company never gave a performance under Stiefel's leadership. Hired in late 2004. he was asked to turn a small regional company into a national force. To that end, he hired some of his ABT colleagues as staff members, formulated plans for tours and a longer season, and held auditions. The launch of the transformed company was set for this fall.
But the larger ensemble that Stiefel envisioned required an annual budget of $6.5 million, up from $1.5 million. After falling short of fundraising goals, officials announced that they would delay the opening until 2007.
Interim managing director Melody Wolfgram told the Register that the company would take some time to consider its next steps. "Within a couple of weeks we'll be able to say something one way or another about the future," she said.