Tuesday, June 30, 2009

dillner/hefty: "worst persons in the world?"

a tuesdays' reader has come up with an interesting way to protest the skylight theatre's firing of artistic director bill theisen: nominate the culprits responsible, eric dillner, suzanne hefty and the skylight executive committee, as one of countdown with keith olberman's worst persons in the world.

christine o'meally got the idea to email olbermann while watching countdown. "It just struck me - once the political element of Karl Rove and 'Stay the course' came into this whole thing, it would be right up ol' Keith's alley."

wanna join her? click here to email olbermann and countdown.

a word of advice: if you send an email, be sure to be clear – it's not the skylight itself you're nominating, just those buggers who canned the entire artistic staff.

here's o'meally's letter:

At the Skylight Opera Theater in Milwaukee, the artistic director, Bill Theisen, who is extremely well-liked both locally and nationally, was recently fired by the new managing director, Eric Dillner. This despite a season that was extremely successful, and with no notice whatsoever.

A few days later, the music director, Jamie Johns, was also fired for insubordination because of his public and passionate protests on the artistic director's behalf. It seemed quite reminiscent of the style of the Bush Administration - heavy-handed, vindictive, short-sighted and without any consideration for either the past or the future.

That analogy was being used privately among local artists, but we had no idea how true it was. In checking the company's Twitter account, it was discovered the Skylight lists KARL ROVE as one of the people it follows. Karl Rove, who has shown no interest in the arts of which I am aware, let alone or opera or musical theater.

A screen grab of the Twitter page may be found here: http://www.tuesdaysblog.com/2009/06/skylights-rovian-tactics.html. In an interview with the city's music critic, Tom Strini, Dillner and the board president, Suzanne Hefty, used the phrase "stay the course" multiple times. (I am not aware whether or not they ever said, "Bring 'em on" or "cut and run.")

Strini has called for the removal of both Dillner & Hefty, who have lied about the circumstances of Theisen's firing, saying that it was a board decision. It was an executive committee decision and consequently several board members have resigned in protest.

The article about the situation may be found at http://www.jsonline.com/entertainment/arts/49430392.html. There are multiple articles in the Journal Sentinel by Strini and multiple discussions of the topic at www.tuesdaysblog.com.

Thank you for your consideration of this issue.


  1. Shit, I left out the "on" in "bring 'em on." I hate when I miss things like that.

  2. If this happens, I will throw a party!

  3. I really need to have people proofread my work before I send it out. I used to be so good at that. ACK.


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