The Asolo Repertory Theatre is headed for a changing of the guard.
The theater company announced Monday that its longtime leadership team — Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele — will be stepping down from their positions when their contracts expire in June 2023.
Both Edwards and DiGabriele were extended opportunities to renew their contracts, but both ultimately felt it might be a good time to retire and pass on the baton of leadership.
The company’s board of directors is assembling a search committee and will begin a national search for applicants for both positions over the coming months.
Prior to joining Asolo Rep, Edwards was employed as the associate artistic director of Syracuse Stage and also had a stint as artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Edwards won the Garland Award and Drama Logue Award in his rich and distinguished career as a theater director prior to helming Asolo Rep’s vision.
“Since 2006, I have had the pleasure of working with Linda as my partner,” said Edwards in a press release. “Looking back at the incredible work we’ve done together and the obstacles we have overcome, at the challenges we have embraced and the opportunities we have seized, we knew it was the right time to make our exit.
“We made a pact that we would leave together. I’m extremely grateful for the opportunity I was given by our board, staff and community and the trust instilled in me to lead the artistic vision of this nationally recognized organization. Now, it’s time for a new voice to take the lead and continue the incredible, exciting and necessary work of Asolo Repertory Theatre.”
By the time she retires, DiGabriele will have worked for Asolo Rep for a half-century. She previously served as stage manager and as director of touring operations, and she’s helped chart the path of the organization as managing director for more than three decades.
“Asolo Rep has been part of my life since I was stage managing and overseeing our national touring companies,” said DiGabriele in a statement. “When I took on the managing director role in 1989, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to bring so many exciting projects and collaborations to fruition. Working with Michael these last nearly two decades has been extraordinary.
"With our professional team and dedicated board, we have grown Asolo Rep’s status as one of Americans leading regional theaters with significant impact in our community and state. Now it’s time to entrust it to the next generation of leaders. It’s been a thrilling journey, and I look forward to seeing what’s next for the company.”