Thursday, May 22, 2014

Artistic director Todd Olson leaves American Stage

   Todd Olson is leaving American Stage after 11 years as artistic director.
Todd Olson
   The theater announced Thursday that Olson has accepted a new position as executive director of the Columbia Festival of the Arts in Maryland.
    There’s only been one person, company co-founder Victoria Holloway, who had been artistic director of the 37-year-old company for longer than Olson.
    He’s directed more than 30 plays during his tenure, including last year’s “The Amish Project,” which featured Sarasota actor Katherine Tanner playing an assortment of characters involved with a mass murder in an Amish school house.
    “He’s always been so committed,” Tanner said. “I always so enjoyed coming to work with him. I brought in a lot of ideas and he always let me explore and find new things.”
   Olson’s departure doesn’t change plans for him and Tanner to take “The Amish Project” on the road to a theater in Oklahoma City in April.
   American Stage will conduct a national search for a new artistic director. There may be an interim artistic director taking over during the search an American Stage official said.
    American Stage is currently staging “Steel Magnolias.”


Anonymous said...

"American Stage will conduct a national search for a new artistic director." Why? They have the perfect candidate working as their box office manager. Also, I find it interesting that the Bradenton Herald is the only media outlet that picked this up.

Anonymous said...

It's difficult not to view this as a very strategic move on the part of Mr. Olson in view of the recent brouhaha in the local arts community related to his repeated creepy sexist/racist comments on social media. This represents both a fresh start for Mr. Olson and preemptive damage control for American Stage. Best of luck on both scores. I hope Mr. Olson exercises better judgement in his new role in Maryland.

Anonymous said...

GOOD RIDDANCE, is what everyone in the community is saying. Olson has been widely despised for years, except that some actors would pretend to like him in order to keep getting jobs there. Like someone else pointed out, he has said many offensive things via social media. That being said, he's just not a nice person. He's vulgar, a hypocrite, and lustful with young actresses or interns. On top of that...he was a TERRIBLE director! We're just so glad he is GONE.