Michael Kahn, the artistic director for the Shakespeare Theater Company in Washington, D.C. has not signed on to be artistic director for the Stratford Stage Group, and that contradicts the Stage Group’s written statement this week saying that “Kahn confirmed his commitment as artistic director.”
“Michael expressed interest in that during a discussion with (SSG president) David Reed last week,” Kahn’s executive assistant, David Olson, told The Star, “but he has not officially signed on as artistic director.”
Stratford Stage Group’s (SSG) proposal to renovate and operate the town’s Shakespeare Theatre is one of three plans for the property being considered by the Town Council. It includes building a 132-room hotel in the park across from the theater and having hotel profits subsidize the Shakespeare Theatre, which is expected to operate with an annual deficit.
Olson said that a commitment from Kahn is contingent on things including what the theater will look like, when it may open, and Michael’s availability at that time.
As of now it is “just conversations,” according to Olson.
“If things were to move forward as David Reed sees them, Michael would be interested the summer festival season,” Olson said, in light of his responsibilities in Washington, D.C. where his company has productions in the fall.
After issuing a press release on Jan. 17 announcing Kahn’s “commitment,” SSG communications manager Dan Wolgemuth told The Star, “Michael will bring his Shakespeare productions to Stratford — two every season. He will also be the artistic director overseeing all production. He, too, (along with George White) will be bringing the top companies from around the world.”
Wolgemuth went further and wrote, “Leonard Soloway will handle most Broadway shows and tryouts, but still under the artistic director, Kahn.”
That sounds different from Kahn’s position.