Tuesday, March 25, 2008

McAnuff Moves Forward

Richard Ouzounian plays catch-up on what the Globe and Mail spit out over the weekend about the split in artistic directorship, while remaining frontman Des McAnuff says it's time to move forward.

"SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA - My hotel here is on one of the highest hills in the city and offers a spectacular view, not just of the surrounding Korean countryside, but — metaphorically speaking — all the way to Perth County.

"It’s amazing what a bit of space and distance can do to give one some perspective, especially on the turmoil that’s overtaken the Stratford Shakespeare Festival since two of its three artistic directors, Marti Maraden and Don Shipley, resigned almost two weeks ago. Des McAnuff remains.

"The already-heated atmosphere grew steamier still yesterday when Maraden’s side of the story appeared in The Globe and Mail. Her complaints settled on several points, the major two of which seemed to be that 'there was no protocol for decision-making, neither written nor spoken' and that 'a virtually unilateral imposition of (general director Antoni Cimolino’s) Öagenda made it impossible for me to continue.'

"Let’s tackle the first issue. Contrary to what Maraden said on the weekend, it was always clear what the decision-making process would be: consensus.

"The word was on everyone’s lips that June day in 2006 when their appointments were announced. 'As a group, that’s what we’ll be striving to do — to find consensus,' said Shipley. 'It’s never going to be easy but certainly we’ve been skilled at doing that.'

"It worked well at first but seemed forgotten once consensus grew harder to achieve, with increasing arguments that would find Maraden and Shipley on one side and McAnuff on the other, being resolved by Cimolino in McAnuff’s favour.

"Maraden admits that 'Antoni clearly held ultimate authority' and that should have always been obvious.

"On the day in April two years ago when Cimolino was appointed general director, I asked him to define his job. 'I’m the team captain,' he said without a moment’s hesitation.

"The deal-breaking line in the sand that Shipley supposedly wanted to draw would have changed the artistic directors’ method of choice from consensus to simple majority. It was rejected, the resignations were accepted and the hard part began."

Read more at the Toronto Star.

No comments: