Thursday, December 7, 2006

Nicholas Martin will step down in 2008

(Photo: Suzanne Kreiter/Boston Globe)

The Huntington has announced that 2007-2008 will be Nicholas Martin's last season as Artistic Director; he will continue in an advisory role for two more years. The news should send a shock through the theatre community, as Martin has been so devoted to the local scene; he has cast local actors (who rubbed shoulders with several famous names), developed local playwrights, pushed the Huntington's repertory toward the contemporary, and even opened a spanking new space, the Calderwood. I always found his directing work intelligent, engaging, and very funny (if a tad too commercial); alas, the direction by others at the Huntington could be decidedly uneven, leading to some long dry spells in a few seasons, but there have also been plenty of productions to remember fondly, including Rabbit Hole, Love's Labour's Lost, Falsettos, The Rivals, Culture Clash in AmeriCCa, What the Butler Saw, and The Rose Tattoo. But whatever the ups and downs of individual seasons, Martin will be remembered for his legacy - the grand new theatre, the new play development program, and his general engagement with his theatre's home city. He is inarguably the most important figure in the Boston theatre scene, and he'll leave some pretty big shoes to fill.

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