Guthrie: Next artistic director must build diversity

Joe Dowling in 2010. (Photo credit: Ann Marsden)

The Guthrie Theater has posted a job opening for artistic director with a start date of July, 2015, when Joe Dowling is scheduled to step down after a 20 year run. The listing reads:

The Guthrie will look to its new Artistic Director to build upon its rich history in production, education, training, and community service in a manner that aligns with the range of its spaces, its professional and lay expertise, and its audiences.

While Dowling has held both the responsibilities of artistic director and managing director, it looks like that may change with his departure.

The Artistic Director will be the senior leader of the Guthrie Theater, reporting to the Board of Directors through its Chair.  Following the new hire, the precise leadership and management structure around the Artistic Director will be mutually created in a manner that maximizes the likely success of the new leader and the theater.

It’s also interesting to note the role that diversity plays in the search for Guthrie’s new leader:

Consistent with the charge given to past artistic directors, the most important responsibility to be accomplished personally by the new leader is twofold — to assure that the quality of work on the stages is at the highest level, and to develop even larger and more diverse audiences for its work.

The Guthrie’s ambition is to create seasons of  “must see” plays that utilize the considerable resources of this theater and offer programming that attracts its diverse communities.

The Guthrie Theater drew criticism for its 50th anniversary season, which lacked any real diversity in the playwrights and directors.

Recently, the Star Tribune speculated on the most likely candidates to replace Dowling.