Joseph Miloscia, executive director of the Stage Directors & Choreographers Foundation (SDCF), which provides a range of services and professional-development programs for the industry, has quietly stepped down from his position, Back Stage has learned.
He served for three years as the head of the SDCF and for five years prior to that as a board member.
In a brief interview with Back Stage on Monday, Miloscia said, "It was time to move on" following an intense period of working to strengthen the organization's various projects. He added, "I felt I'd accomplished everything I could."
Founded in 1965, the SDCF indeed increased its profile substantially during Miloscia's tenure. Currently, the organization presents a One-on-One Conversation series with well-known directors, an annual National Directing Symposium, a Director/Dramatist and Director/Musical Theatre Exchange, and the monthly Director/Choreographer Network. There's also the annual "Mr. Abbott" Award and Joe A. Callaway Award, two distinguished honors in directing; an observership program and three fellowships for early-career artists; The Journal for Stage Directors and Choreographers, a biannual magazine; and Dance Break, which showcases the work of rising choreographers for commercial and not-for-profit producers.
Miloscia would not discuss whether any specific events prompted his resignation. In April, Back Stage reported that a petition was circulating within the directing community complaining that the board of directors of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers (SSDC) was "considering withdrawing" its funding for the SDCF.
Ultimately, more than 70 signatures were affixed to the petition—including those of Tony-winning directors Jack O'Brien and John Rando and Tony-nominated choreographer Jerry Mitchell. Neither Miloscia nor SSDC Executive Director Barbara Hauptman would discuss the issue for attribution. Pamela Berlin, who serves as SSDC board president, told Back Stage that she, too, would not comment on any tension between the organizations.
One signatory, speaking under condition of anonymity, told Back Stage that the petition was written by a member of the SDCF Artists Action Committee, a group of midcareer directors who act as informal consultants to the foundation.
On Tuesday, Hauptman told Back Stage that Robert Moss, who serves as SDCF board president in addition to his duties as artistic director of Syracuse Stage, was spearheading early efforts to identify Miloscia's successor. At press time it remained unclear whether a search committee was forming and if an interim foundation head would be appointed.