Saturday, June 27, 2009

charlie sykes: skylight "profoundly stupid"

it's not often that i agree with this guy. but here's someone who "doesn't have a dog in this fight," and has the cojones to call it as he sees it.

in audio from wtmj radio's midday with charlie sykes, host sykes absolutely destroys the skylight opera theatre board of directors, and refers to managing director eric dillner as "the new hatchet man" at the skylight. (i don't know, is that a threat?)
"i cannot remember the last time a local non-profit organization or arts group blew itself up in as messy a way as the skylight has... why the folks in charge did not see this coming, why they didn't realize that...

look i understand the money is tight, there are things you need to cut back , i obviously do get that. but to blow out the guy who is your artistic director, to go into the season without a music director? um, helloooo?! does anyone see the flaw in all this?"
sykes goes on to openly mock the skylight board, suggesting they won't have the guts to admit a terrible mistake and reverse themselves, but will only double down on their decision. listen:

(hat tip christine o'meally)


  1. I particularly like the way he likens it to a sports team getting rid of a key player to save money in order to appeal to his audience. Perhaps that's what we need to do, particularly in appealing to the non-artist.

  2. If I'm not mistaken, Charlie's wife is Jan Riordan who has performed at the Skylight, in Oklahoma as Laurie. He has always struck me as someone with an appreciation for the arts and I commend him for his spot-on comments on this issue.

  3. I love that he pulls no punches. I hope he continues to weigh in, particularly on the financials. I don't understand the math they are applying, and I am DYING to know how much Dillner is being paid now that he has assumed AD responsibilities. It seems to me that if they only saved $150,000 by eliminating 4 positions and "folding" Bill's job into Dillner's, either people were practically living at the poverty level, or Dillner happily gave himself a hefty increase in spite of the poor state of Skylight's finances.

  4. Tony

    In case no one has said this, thank you for dedicating your time and so much of this place to Skylight in the last 2 weeks. Your love and devotion to that theatre, and all the people who love it and work to keep it so special, is evident and valuable!



    I think we shouldn't give up yet.


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