Beginning May 1, Anita Stewart will take over the artistic directorship of Maine's Portland Stage Company, a position she has shared since June 1996 with Christopher Akerlind. The latter will take on an advisory role and sometimes return to do lighting design.
"My career as a designer requires more and more of my time and energy away from Portland," said Akerlind. "The theatre will function more effectively with one artistic director."
For her part, Stewart said, "I will continue working closely with Chris [Akerlind] on artistic decisions. The new role allows Portland Stage to hold onto Chris' strengths while encouraging him to develop as a lighting designer." Akerlind was a Tony nominee for Broadway's Seven Guitars.
Under Akerlind and Stewart's co-governance, Portland Stage expanded its community outreach and became more active in local school workshop programs.
-- By David Lefkowitz