It looks like Robert Egan has changed his plans. The Mark Taper Forum's producing director had announced in October that he would be leaving the Taper for a job at the helm of Seattle's A Contemporary Theatre this spring. Last week Egan explained that due to ACT's current financial crisis, he won't be taking the job after all.
Word of the company's fiscal woes reached Egan in January. Egan now estimates the theatre would have to raise $1.5 million to $2 million just to keep the theatre open. ACT's money troubles would have put the brakes on any adventurous programming Egan had envisioned. He has said that he plans on staying in the Los Angeles area to pursue freelance directing work.
Egan has long been thought of as a possible replacement for Taper founder and artistic director Gordon Davidson, who has said he will retire in 2004.
Davidson recently told Back Stage West that Egan is still a possible replacement candidate as Taper artistic director, but that the board's search process has not yet begun. "What the board is doing now is a very thorough job of evaluating where CTG is and where it can go," said Davidson. "It's difficult because I founded the organization and I've been running it all the time, so there's never been that kind of discussion. We're at a crossroads now."
As far as replacing Egan is concerned, Davidson said he would divide Egan's duties up among existing staff.