(April 2013 WSB photo by Nick Adams)
West Seattle’s ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery confirms that artistic director Christopher Zinovitch is out. He had served in that role since December 2011, and had joined the organization a decade before that. ArtsWest has just issued this statement:
After thirteen years at ArtsWest, most recently serving as the Artistic Director, ArtsWest is announcing the departure of Christopher Zinovitch.
Mr. Zinovitch has given us his expertise, his guidance and his outstanding efforts. He has brought wonderful art to our stages as an actor, director and artistic leader. Under his leadership, ArtsWest has experienced box office and critical successes – History Boys, Evil Dead: The Musical, and the recent 33 Variations, to name just a few. He has brought passion and immense talent to every project he has undertaken. ArtsWest’s education program has grown under his tutelage, providing hundreds of young people the opportunity to explore theater and supplying a steppingstone in the career of many professional actors currently working in Seattle and around the country. He was also instrumental in securing ArtsWest the American Theatre Wing’s 2012 National Theatre Company Award, an honor bestowed to only ten theatres nationwide for articulating a distinctive mission, cultivating an audience, and nurturing a community of artist in ways that strengthen and demonstrate the quality, diversity and dynamism of American theater. The decision to part ways with Mr. Zinovitch was very, very difficult and it is with deep gratitude that we wish him well with future pursuits.
ArtsWest remains fully committed to our upcoming season. We are looking forward to a wonderful summer for our education program, followed by our mainstage season featuring a rolling world premiere, a beloved family holiday classic, two contemporary plays, and a tribute to the anniversary of the summer of love.
ArtsWest had already been seeking a new managing director, since – as reported here in March – Line Sandsmark left after less than a year; she had succeeded Alan Harrison, the 5 1/2-year managing director who left two years ago. We’re following up with a few questions and will add to this story with any additional information we get.