Arts Post
Posted at 04:12 PM ET, 12/10/2012

Martin Platt stepping down as Olney Theatre artistic director

Effective immediately, Martin Platt will no longer be serving as the artistic director of Olney Theatre Center. Alan Wade, a member of the Olney board of directors, is serving as interim artistic director while Olney undergoes a search for a permanent replacement.

Jessica Lauren Ball (Cinderella) and Matt Kacergis (Christopher) in Olney Theatre’s Cinderlla. (Photo by Sonie M. Mathew)
According to Jennifer Kneeland, Olney board president, Platt “wished to pursue his work with Perry Street Theatricals in New York.” She described the decision for Platt to leave before completing a year on the job at Olney as “mutual.”

Kneeland said there are no plans to amend the 2013 season, though “Anything is possible.”  She said, “We think Martin did an excellent job selecting titles for Olney, so we’re going to do all that we can in order to maintain the season.”

Platt began his role as artistic director in late May. His predecessor, Jim Petosa, had led Olney since 1994 and left citing his desire for Olney to “return to a more aggressive artistic presence in its seasons,” as he told the Washington Post in Jan. 2012.

At the beginning of his tenure, Platt echoed those sentiments, telling the Post that “I think [Olney’s] slipped a bit. Programming has gotten very conservative. I think part of my initiative is to really return Olney to being a real player in that area... both with the kinds of plays we like to do [and] the artists we bring down there.”

Kneeland said Olney’s game plan is to find a permanent artistic director “as soon as possible,” hopefully within the first quarter of the year. “We did an extensive search last year to find Martin,” she said. “So through that, we were able to see what’s out there as far as talent in the area.”    

Though that search didn’t yield a perfect match, Kneeland “can’t say we would have done it differently… We’re sorry that it didn’t work out. We’re looking forward to the future.”


By  |  04:12 PM ET, 12/10/2012

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