Want to hear the news that’s been making its way around the water cooler at theatres all over town this afternoon? Well, do you remember back in May when we reported that actor/director David Storch would be promoted to Artistic Director of CanStage as a result of a recent regime change? Apparently, as of today, in only the seventh month of his directorship (which officially began on July 1, 2007), Storch has resigned from the position. At least, that’s what CanStage says. Those in the know who have heard about recent layoffs are calling shenanigans on the official story of “conflicting artistic visions” and saying that Storch got the sack. It is certainly abrupt for an Artistic Director to leave a theatre company before a single year’s tenure, and well before the end of the current season. Especially when many are calling Palace of the End, which Storch directed and which is playing until February 23rd, the best thing CanStage has produced in years. Not to mention the fact that he is scheduled to direct Misery, an adaptation of the Stephen King novel, for CanStage in May.
We haven’t forgotten that many were critical of the way that CanStage hired Storch internally, rather than conducting a search for his former position, which most would consider standard procedure. It is unclear at this point what this will mean to Storch’s 18-year affiliation with CanStage, where he worked mostly as an actor. Torontoist is still waiting to hear back from CanStage for an official comment.
UPDATE (4:15 p.m.): CBC.ca is now reporting that Storch will still direct Misery this spring and continue a relationship with CanStage in some capacity. Storch is quoted as saying, “It has become clear to me that the demands of artistic director of this company are not ones which I feel are in my creative interests to pursue.” They also report that Artistic Producer Martin Bragg claims a search for a new Artistic Director will begin soon.
UPDATE (12:00 a.m.): Just a final update to say that we’ve received CanStage’s press release, which should put an end to the gossip; it sounds as though Storch and the company are parting on amicable terms. Martin Bragg expresses regret over Storch’s departure and Storch himself explains that he will continue to work with the company as an actor, director and advisor for years to come. Not that tongues won’t still be wagging over who Storch’s replacement is going to be.
Photo from CanStage’s website.