The Kennedy Center and the National Theater yesterday officially announced the termination of their five-year-old booking relationship.
The Kennedy Center had booked attractions for the National since 1974, when Center Chairman Roger L. Stevens established a nonprofit corporation to save the National Yesterday's agreement, effective within 90 days, was described as the "logical conclusion" of Steven's plan to "reestablish the National Theater as a vital and independent operation. . . ."
After Steven's intervention, long-running engagements of "A Chorus Line" and "Annie" helped finance a refurbishment program that included a rebuilt stage, new seats and a complete repainting of the theater.
But members of the theater's board of directors became increasingly frustrated this year with the quality and commercial appeal of the bookings, and that frustration was compounded by a summer during which the theater had to stay dark. After the current engagement of the Pilobolus and Trockadero dance troupes, the National is slated to shut down again until early December.
"We intend to stay open 52 weeks of the Year," said National Board Chairman Maurice L. Tobin, who also expressed gratitude to Stevens for his work with the theater. Stevens is currently hospitalized in San Francisco after suffering a moderate heart attack last weekend.
The National has not yet decided how or through whom it will book future shows. Tobin said, but board members have consulted a number of bookers and producers. Tobin said that he hopes to find an attraction to fill the gap between next week and Dec. 10, when "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" opens.
The National also announced the appointment of 10 new members to its board yesterday. They are Jay Adams, John Firestone, Tom Mack, Martin Agronsky, Joseph Fontana, Anthony Hope, Peter Jay, Margaret Lynn, E.J. Mudd and Selwa "lucky" Roosevelt.