Friday, September 14, 2007


I just read in today's American Theater Web , a daily digest of theatre news from the U.S. and the U.K., a story in the San Jose Mercury News that Timothy Near, artistic director of San Jose Rep for the past 20 years, will step down after next season.

I had the pleasure of working there when I directed Mitch Albom's Tuesdays With Morrie, which the Laguna Playhouse co-produced with SJ Rep. They have wonderful theatre facility, built in the past 10 years and located in downtown San Jose. They also have a terrific staff who made everything easy for me.

Interestingly, during my week there to tech the show, which began & ran in Laguna for 5 weeks, SJ Rep was also doing a workshop of a new musical by my favorite composer Craig Bohmler. Coincidentally, the leading actor they had for the workshop had dropped out, and Timi (as she is known) phoned my cohort Andy Barnicle to see if he could fly up there and fill in, which he did. So, both of us were in San Jose that week, working at the Rep!

Timi's had many accomplishments there, and the Rep's heyday coincided with the boom of the hi-tech Silicon Valley industries. When it went bust, it hit her theatre very hard, and they are in the midst of a recovery period. Still, I've seen several fine productions there, and have many friends who have worked there, and it's a wonderful company.

Timi has been a charismatic leader of that theatre and was an insightful artistic colleague in her work with me during my visit.

Timi's announcement is the second I've received in the past week (the other by another nonprofit executive in Laguna Beach) from a leader giving up the reins.

Did I start a trend?

Until next time...


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