Former ArtsWest artistic director Christopher Zinovitch dies at 43

(April 2013 WSB photo by Nick Adams)
A Facebook post by ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery (WSB sponsor) confirms what we had just heard from a reader via e-mail: Former ArtsWest artistic director Christopher Zinovitch has died at just 43 years old. According to ArtsWest, “a short battle with cancer” took Mr. Zinovitch’s life. He left AW in summer 2013, after a year and a half as artistic director, following a decade in other roles with the organization, which remembers him today by saying that “during that time, we were blessed with an incredible body of work that he brought to our stage, his unrelenting passion for hard work and theater, and for the many lives he touched as he nurtured new artists.” Mr. Zinovitch had most recently been working as artistic director of Dakota Stage Ltd. in Bismarck, North Dakota. No memorial information yet but we’ll add it if/when we get it.

11 Replies to "Former ArtsWest artistic director Christopher Zinovitch dies at 43"

  • Beth January 29, 2015 (1:00 pm)

    Nothing more to say other than :'(

  • Salt Spray January 29, 2015 (1:21 pm)

    43 is MUCH too young, especially for one with such creativity and passion for the arts and for Life. Our community is richer for knowing him.

    Peaceful and loving thoughts to his family and to his many friends.

  • Tucker January 29, 2015 (1:21 pm)

    Got the chance to work with him on a show back in ’03. Wish I could’ve given him more at the time. Saddened to hear of this loss. Thoughts and prayers to AW, his colleagues, friends, and family.

  • Jason January 29, 2015 (1:35 pm)

    This is so sad. My daughter has done a lot of the Arts West summer programs and I used to see him around a lot. I was bummed when he left Arts West, this is just so sad. RIP.

  • hopey January 29, 2015 (1:38 pm)

    This is astonishing. He has touched so many kids’ lives, including one in our household. I sincerely hope there will be an opportunity for a public memorial.

  • Angela DiMarco January 29, 2015 (3:35 pm)

    Today I have a heavy heart…I heard this morning that Christopher had passed away. It was a shock to hear he was rushed to the hospital and soon hospice as they discovered he had aggressive brain Cancer. This disease has taken too many of my loved ones away and it has done so again.

    Chris was a true artist, he always followed his dreams and yet made time to help other’s dreams come true. He ran a wonderful youth program and gave young artists a voice. I had the privilege of working with him on the play Amy’s View, with Julie Jamieson, Paul Custodio, Mary Lou Mills and Robert. The rehearsals and show were a mighty experience, he and I only grew closer.

    I first met Chris years ago when he came and applied to work at ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery. I was a young actor on the board at the time, and I remember Chris as this fresh faced, excited, determined, charming and funny man. He got the job and soon he would pour his heart and soul into the theater and it’s success.
    Today we have lost an artist who dedicated his life to bringing fun, touching, impactful and good theater to his community. I will miss our lunch dates at Terrible Beauty pub, our coffee rant dates at Starbucks and my friend who I wish I could hug one more time.

    I love you CZ

  • Fan January 29, 2015 (7:37 pm)

    He inspired so many kids and knew how to bring out each ones inner talents. He was also a gifted and talented actor. So sad to hear his passing. Hearts go out to his family and friends.

  • Lost a good one January 30, 2015 (1:46 am)

    Blessings to him, his friends, collegues, and family. Sounds like he was a real inpiration. Sorry he left too soon. Thank you for the art you shared with world, and may it live on always. So touching to read of a life well lived, I hope those that loved him find comfort all around in his memory.

  • Marge Evans January 30, 2015 (7:41 am)

    deeply saddened by his passing. He was a gifted actor.

  • Myron Jenkins January 30, 2015 (10:31 pm)

    So sorry to hear of Chris’s passing. I worked with him at ArtsWest for 6 years and witnessed many of his plays and thought he was brilliant, creative, and hard-working, and always gave it his all. You will be missed.

  • Laura B. February 8, 2015 (4:52 pm)

    Chris, May you continue to entertain in your next life. People say to rest in peace…don’t you dare! You have a show to put on! Thanks for great childhood memories.

    You directed our “Who’s Johnny” and The Pirate Movies, “Happy Endings” with the neighborhood kids for the Boys and Girls Club talent shows. Thanks for being a part of my childhood and living your passion.

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