Less than a week after announcing his departure from the La Jolla Playhouse, multi-Tony-Award-winning director Des McAnuff has said he’s headed north to be one of three artistic directors of Canada’s prestigious Stratford Festival.

McAnuff, who will continue at the playhouse as a director emeritus, will join the festival after his contract with the Playhouse expires in April 2007. The Playhouse has put together a search committee to look for his replacement.

“Des’ new position creates the opportunity for us to establish a partnership with one of North America’s leading theatres. Both the leadership at the Playhouse and at the Festival have a strong desire to work together on artistic projects,” Playhouse Managing Director Steven B. Libman said in a press release. “And of course, I am very happy for Des, and especially gratified that he will have an ongoing relationship with La Jolla Playhouse.”

“Des has enjoyed enormous success at La Jolla,” Stratford Festival General Director Antoni Cimolino was quoted in the same press release as saying. “Over the past several months, we’ve started to build some connections to the Playhouse. I’m impressed with the energy of this organization and see many synergies with the Stratford Festival. I hope that we might collaborate on projects in the future.”

McAnuff has worked in Stratford before. In 1983 he directed a production of Shakespeare’s Macbeth. McAnuff is also a native Canadian, hailing from southern Ontario.

“I consider my role in the rebirth and development of La Jolla Playhouse as the single greatest accomplishment of my career,” the press release quoted McAnuff as saying. “And I expect that I will always feel that way. But while I greatly enjoy directing new plays and musicals, my first loves are the plays of William Shakespeare. Stratford gives me the much desired opportunity to explore the classic theatrical repertoire while continuing to do new work. The fact that Stratford has created a model in which I could also continue my outside projects had a great deal of appeal.”


Leave a comment

We expect all commenters to be constructive and civil. We reserve the right to delete comments without explanation. You are welcome to flag comments to us. You are welcome to submit an opinion piece for our editors to review.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.