On March 3, Seattle Shakespeare Company announced that its longtime managing director John Bradshaw was stepping down and leaving the theater scene to do fund-raising work for the Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville.
No big deal, John's had a long and good career in theater, people move on.
But today Seattle Shakes announced that its artistic director of 13 years, Stephanie Shine, will be stepping down and the board will "begin evaluation and re-imagination of organization's internal structure."
Sounds like a good idea to me. Shakes has been hit and miss over the years and it's mostly about who's directing their shows. With Sheila Daniels (Electra) and John Langs (Hamlet), you can expect great stuff. But Shine herself has not done well as a director. (I recently accused her Threepenny Opera of having "the fusty feeling of a director just pushing actors around the stage out of habit.")
I'm eager to hear who the board will choose to lead its—ostensibly—shined-up and reimagined Seattle Shakespeare Company.
And now, for a walk down memory lane, please enjoy this gossip-heavy Theater News column from 2005, in which Shine is accused of casting herself as the lead in Love's Labors Lost and then fighting with the director she hired:
Chatty cast members, who wanted to remain anonymous for obvious reasons, said Shine, who acts in or directs an awful lot of her company's productions, was surly about some of Levin's directing choices. Levin, for his part, seemed tentative, deferring too often to his boss-cum-actress and other SSC staff.
Levin, who has directed for 32 years in New York, Seattle, and Moscow, said Shine had cast herself in a lead role before she hired him, and that it was the first and last time he would direct his boss. "It's impossible for someone to be both artistic director and actor in the rehearsal hall without usurping the director's authority," he said.
(On an unrelated and selfish note: "Chatty cast members"? I really wrote that? Jesus Christ. Sounds like something from a society column circa 1924.)