Tuesday, June 30, 2009

theisen doing "what's best for me..."

...and others need to do what's best for them."

bill theisen
, the recently fired artistic director of milwaukee's skylight opera theatre has agreed to return to direct four of the five shows he had been scheduled to direct prior to the company's sudden restructuring, but possibly (and quite publicly) not for the reasons managing director eric dillner and board president suzanne hefty had in mind:
"I don't feel very celebratory about the company," Theisen said. "I will try to stay neutral and do the job at hand. I'm doing what's best for me, and others need to do what's best for them."

Theisen, who is at the University of Iowa directing a revue, said several performers had called to say that they would refuse to step on the stage if he chose not to direct at the Skylight next season. He didn't want that.

"This really is the best decision for me because I've already put so much work into the two operas," he said. "The designs are done and all the casting is done."

While he did not encourage further agitation, neither did he suggest that the protest should end.

"I want to thank everyone who has supported me," he said. "I was truly overwhelmed."

theisen's comments are as important for what they don't say, as what they do.


  1. Wow, nice plug for your blog in the article... although it probably isn't intended as such. This whole story is so baffling to me. Wish I could be a fly on the wall in the board meetings and really find out what cooked all this up.

  2. Ok so Bill will do these shows, but will it be enough to fix the damage? What about next year? Has anyone talked to Bill, the Company Manager, the Box Office Mgr and Assistant, the ones who seemed to be doing their jobs and making their goals to see what really happened? Was there a Senior staff meeting to brainstrom some other options? Or as it was reported that after the last sort comings Eric gave the only option available to the Ex. Board. I would think the full Board would try and talk to all involve and get the complete and turthful story to what lead up this mess, and take the bold and correct action to fix it.

  3. Note to self: Milwaukee artistic community can only sustain support for a position for 14 days.

    Stay the course.

  4. WTH - no consequences for Eric's bad behavior or the Board's for that matter? If ED resigned along with Hefty - then go back. Under current setup - huge mistake. Huge. This isn't about Bill - it's about Skylight jerking people around and not being accountable to their funders, patrons and artists. Bill's temporary return does nothing to resolve these issues. Disgusting behavior gets a reprieve. Back to business as usual. WTH.

  5. It so isn't over yet. Really. Believe me. Spread the word. This was not a capitulation on Bill's part, but rather a way to stay in the game. Unlike me who is sitting on the sidelines now. Keep up the heat. Karl Rove, you are, as usual, wrong.


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