Anne Chislett, artistic director of the Blyth Festival, the small-town Ontario theatre festival devoted to new Canadian works, has chosen not to renew her contract and will be leaving the organization Oct. 31, after five years.
The announcement was made Aug. 29. Chislett will help plan the 2003 slate in the rural village of Blyth, about 45 minutes west of the better-known Ontario festival in Stratford.
"Anne has decided not to renew her contract as she wishes to concentrate on other aspects of her career without the day-to-day responsibilities of guiding one of Canada's most significant summer festivals," Blyth Festival board president Carol Oriold said in a statement.
Highlights of Chislett's five-year tenure include "creating a higher profile for the Blyth Festival within Canada's theatre community, developing new plays that have been produced across Canada and around the world and working to integrate the Festival more closely with its immediate community and Huron County."
Chislett said she leaves at a time when the festival is flourishing, financially and artistically. A selection committee has been formed to find her successor. This summer, the Blyth Festival attracted more than 40,000 patrons from across Canada and the United States, making it one of the most successful in its 28-year history.
— By Kenneth Jones