Search for Williamstown Director Nears End

News   Search for Williamstown Director Nears End The search for Michael Ritchie's replacement as producing director of the Williamstown Theatre Festival may be close to an end.

The Boston Globe reports that four individuals are currently being considered. They include British director Michael Morris, longtime Williamstown administrator Jenny Gersten, Lincoln Center casting director Daniel Swee and Tony-winning actor Roger Rees. Ira Lapidus, who is the president of the WTF's Board of Trustees, told the Boston paper that a director should be named within the month.

"We had 85 applicants," said Lapidus. "Our search committee interviewed 15, and reinterviewed about half of them. We're probably down to the finalists."

Ritchie is leaving the Berkshires company to become the new artistic director of Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group, overseeing the Mark Taper Forum, the Ahmanson Theatre and the new Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. He officially replaces Gordon Davidson Jan. 1, 2005.

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Worcester, Massachusetts, native Ritchie started out in theatre in 1980 as a stage manager in New York, handling more than 50 shows in 15 years on and Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater, Circle in the Square, Circle Rep, the New York Shakespeare Festival, Playwrights Horizons, City Center and the National Actors’ Theatre. He worked on such notable productions as Our Town (starring Spalding Gray and Eric Stoltz), Candida (with Joanne Woodward), You Never Can Tell (with Uta Hagen), Arms and the Man (Kevin Kline and Raul Julia), A Streetcar Named Desire (with Blythe Danner and Aidan Quinn as well as the Jessica Lange and Alec Baldwin) and Present Laughter (with his wife Kate Burton and Nathan Lane). He was appointed producer of the Williamstown Theatre Festival in 1996. Under his guidance, WTF has developed and presented new works including David Rabe's Corners, A.R. Gurney's Far East, Paul Rudnick's The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told, John Guare's Chaucer in Rome, Warren Leight's The Glimmer Brothers and Kenneth Lonergan's The Waverly Gallery.

Recent Broadway productions that began at WTF include Hedda Gabler, One Mo’ Time, The Price, The Rainmaker and The Man Who Had All the Luck. The Williamstown Theatre Festival also won the 2002 Regional Theatre Tony Award.

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