O'Brien Takes on Emeritus Status at Old Globe; Patch and Tresnjak Become Co-Artistic Directors

News   O'Brien Takes on Emeritus Status at Old Globe; Patch and Tresnjak Become Co-Artistic Directors Tony Award winner Jack O'Brien, who has served as artistic director of San Diego's Old Globe for the last 26 years, will pass the torch to Jerry Patch and Darko Tresnjak in 2008.
Jack O'Brien
Jack O'Brien Photo by Aubrey Reuben

Globe CEO/executive director Lou Spisto and the theatre's board announced the reorganization of its leadership team Dec. 6. O'Brien will continue to be associated with the California stage as Artistic Director Emeritus. Patch and Tresnjak will take over as co-artistic directors starting Jan. 1, 2008.

"Jack O'Brien has left a legacy at the Globe that is rivaled only by his stature in the theatre industry," said board chair Kathryn Hattox in statement. "As Artistic Director Emeritus, Jack has committed to staying involved with the Globe and that makes all of us especially happy."

Patch was brought on by Spisto and O'Brien in 2005 to take on a new "resident artistic director" position — in which he would oversee day-to-day artistic operations in order to lift the burden from the busy O'Brien. Tresnjak has served as artistic director for the company's summer Shakespeare Festivals since 2004.

Patch stated, "My first two seasons at the Globe taught me how terrific the production and administrative teams here are. I'm also grateful for having had Jack's counsel, and I am happy to know that he'll be here still for us in his Emeritus capacity. Working with Darko on three Rep seasons and Bell, Book and Candle has been an unqualified joy. Lou and I are delighted he's joining us as Co-Artistic Director."

Tresnjak was equally excited: "I owe a debt of gratitude to Jack O'Brien for inviting me to direct Pericles at The Old Globe in 2002. I was honored that he and Lou asked me to head the Shakespeare Festival as we returned to the repertory format. I look forward to helping Lou and Jerry to develop exciting seasons at The Old Globe." O'Brien's work at the Old Globe began in the late 1960s, according to an announcement, and he was appointed to his current position in 1981 by founding director Craig Noel. His staging of Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas! currently play the theatre (through Dec. 30).

O'Brien has earned Tony Awards for his direction of The Coast of Utopia, Henry IV, Hairspray and The Invention of Love. Other credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, Imaginary Friends, The Full Monty, Dr. Seuss' How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Two Shakespearean Actors, Two Trains Running, The Piano Lesson and Porgy and Bess. He is currently at work on the developing musical Catch Me If You Can.

"I consider myself truly blessed to have been able to enjoy such a full and varied career at the Globe," O'Brien said. "These last few years, the Globe has been generous about allowing me to work nationally and even internationally, but after twenty-five amazing years it's now both time and appropriate for me to step back from my duties as full-time artistic director, and encourage the generation of creators waiting to have their chance. I will always remain connected to this magnificent institution, following the example of my beloved predecessor, Craig Noel. He never really 'went away,' and nor will I. Having worked hand-in-glove with Lou, Jerry and Darko over these past few years, I know how effortless this transition will feel, and I know as well that I'm leaving the Theatre in the most worthy hands. I am thrilled to continue my association with this great institution as its Artistic Director Emeritus, and will always continue to think of San Diego as 'home.'"

For more information on The Old Globe, visit TheOldGlobe.org.

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