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.