James Houghton, founder and artistic director of New York City's Signature Theatre, is the new "artistic advisor" to the Guthrie Theater of Minneapolis, MN.
Houghton, whose nonprofit Off-Broadway theatre company focuses on one living playwright per season (John Guare, for example, in 1998-99), will advise Guthrie artistic director Joe Dowling on new works, living writers and literary issues. Or, as the Guthrie statement says, Houghton will focus on "matters of artistic planning and policy as the theatre seeks to expand its programming to include work of contemporary writers."
The Guthrie, founded by legendary director Tyrone Guthrie, is one of the leading regional theatre in the U.S. Its traditional specialization has been revivals of classics (recently, Much Ado About Nothing, The Importance of Being Earnest).
In a statement, Dowling, formerly of the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, said, "Balancing our commitment to the classics with a new focus on contemporary work, (Houghton) will be developing relationships with writers and nurturing new literary talents."
Houghton will remain as artistic director of the Signature, on West 42nd Street in Manhattan. -- By Kenneth Jones