Since 1972 renowned British playwright Ayckbourn has been running Scarborough's Stephen Joseph Theatre - then called the Library Theatre and later named after Ayckbourn's mentor.
Ayckbourn is the author of 70 plays, including Absurd Person Singular, A Small Family Business, House and Garden, Bedroom Farce and Comic Potential. He was hospitalized in 2006 following a stroke.
Since Ayckbourn's recovery, the prolific 68-year-old playwright and director has taken on a reduced workload, but following his retirement as artistic director will continue to be closely involved with the theatre that has premiered nearly all of his play.
In statement Sue Truefitt, chair of the Stephen Joseph Theatre's board, said, "Over the last couple of years, Alan Ayckbourn's day-to-day involvement in the running of the Stephen Joseph Theatre has been decreasing, although his directing work has continued as normal (If I Were You, 2006 and Intimate Exchanges, 2007). In the forthcoming season he will be directing Relatively Speaking and A Trip to Scarborough, and he is planning for the 2008-09 season. This decrease in his workload will lead to the appointment of a new artistic director in the summer of 2008, to plan the 2009-10 season. Alan intends to continue to direct revivals of his plays at the theatre as well as premiering any of his new work there."
Ayckbourn is currently in New York directing his play Intimate Exchanges, part of the Brits Off Broadway festival at 59E59 Theatres. 59E59 Theaters is located at 59 East 59th Street, between Park and Madison Avenues. For tickets, call (212) 279-4200 or visit www.ticketcentral.com.