Manning Will Succeed Esbjornson as Interim Artistic Director of Seattle Rep

News   Manning Will Succeed Esbjornson as Interim Artistic Director of Seattle Rep Seattle Repertory Theatre casting director Jerry Manning will serve as acting artistic director following the departure of David Esbjornson in 2009.

Manning has served as Seattle Rep's casting director for over eight years. Manning, who directed Thom Pain (based on nothing) in 2006, will stage Boom for Seattle Rep as part of the 2008-2009 season. Prior to his tenure with the company, Manning served as artistic associate at the New York Theatre Workshop.

Esbjornson, who has been with Seattle Rep since 2005, informed the company's board of trustees April 17 that he would not renew his contract, which is set to conclude June 30, 2009.

"David has contributed significantly to the growth and strength of our artistic productions and to the caliber of the work we present to our audiences," Seattle Rep board president Jane Zalutsky said in a statement. "As we begin this leadership transition, we are confident that Manning will support Seattle Rep's artistic vision with his characteristic passion and diligence and his considerable experience as a theatre practitioner. With his strong ties to the community, we are assured that Jerry will lead this organization through an exciting season, which will further secure Seattle Rep's position in the forefront of Seattle's theatre community."

While Seattle Rep's board continues to refine and examine its future business and artistic structures, current literary manager Braden Abraham will assume Manning's previous responsibilities. Seattle Rep will begin its search for a new full-time artistic director in the near future.

The Seattle Rep 2008-2009 season includes Ken Ludwig's comedic take on The Three Musketeers; George S. Kaufman and Moss Hart's You Can't Take it With You; Beckett's Waiting for Godot starring Tony Award winner Bill Irwin; Connor McPherson's The Seafarer; Carrie Fisher in Wishful Drinking; Charlayne Woodard's The Night Watcher, directed by Dan Sullivan; Peter Sinn Nachtrieb's Boom; Christopher Evan Welch, James Palmer and Ron Carnell's Rollick; and Harold Pinter's Betrayal. 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.

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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.

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