"We are saddened by [Spisto's] decision to leave after nine years of tremendous leadership and service," said board chair Harold W. Fuson, Jr. in a statement. "During [his] nine years The Old Globe grew to new heights, both financially and artistically. He produced nearly 150 plays and musicals, bringing San Diego audiences some of the most successful shows in Globe history."
Spisto was appointed executive director of The Old Globe in October 2002 and assumed the position of executive producer in January 2008.
"I'm proud to leave the Globe in the most stable financial condition in its 75-year-plus history and with a season schedule every bit as strong as the best in our history. I am especially proud of all the new work we have developed and premiered, the tremendous amount of new work this season and going forward and the artistic milestones achieved," said Spisto in a statement. "Now is the time to work on my other passions. Over the past three years there have been significant projects that were offered, apart from the Globe, that I would now like to pursue. I remain a part of the Globe family and offer to be of service throughout all my days."
As both the chief executive officer and executive producer, Spisto was responsible for both the artistic and administrative activities of The Old Globe. During his tenure, the Globe produced 27 world premieres, launched a new play development program, oversaw the return of the Shakespeare Repertory Season and brought aboard Adrian Noble, and produced A Catered Affair, Robin and the 7 Hoods, the launch of the national tour of the Tony Award-winning Avenue Q, and the Broadway transfers of Chita Rivera: The Dancer's Life and the Twyla Tharp/Bob Dylan musical The Times They Are A-Changin', among others.
Spisto has also initiated several new programs including an innovative cross-border project and a new play development program as well as a free matinee series that brings thousands of students to the Globe's productions annually. Murphy, who was appointed interim managing director, has been general manager of The Old Globe since April 2003. Among his prior work in the arts, he previously served as managing director of Austin Lyric Opera, director of administration of San Diego Opera and general manager of San Diego Repertory Theatre.
The Old Globe produces a year-round season of 15 productions of classic, contemporary and new works. For more information, visit www.oldglobe.org.