Asolo Rep Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director Jointly Announce Retirement
Asolo Repertory Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director, Michael Donald Edwards, and Managing Director, Linda DiGabriele, have announced their retirement at the conclusion of their current contracts, which end in June of 2023. Both Edwards and DiGabriele were extended opportunities to renew their contracts but, together, determined it was the right time to step down to allow new leadership to take the helm.
“Since 2006 I have had the pleasure of working with Linda as my partner,” said Edwards. “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.”
Their joint departure was thoughtfully planned to allow a new executive team to enter together and form a fresh partnership that will continue building on the success of Asolo Rep’s 63-year history. When they leave Asolo Rep in June of 2023, Edwards will have served the organization for 18 years and DiGabriele for 50 years.
“Asolo Rep has been part of my life since I was stage managing and overseeing our national touring companies,” added DiGabriele. “When I took on the Managing Director role in 1989, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to help 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 stature as one of America’s leading regional theatres, 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.”
Since Edwards joined DiGabriele at the helm of Asolo Rep, the duo has brought the company to the forefront of artistic excellence and national recognition. Edwards and DiGabriele will continue their unwavering leadership through the completion of the newly announced 2022-23 season. Asolo Rep’s Board of Directors is assembling a search committee and will begin a national search for both positions in the coming months, with additional details to come.
Michael Donald Edwards has served as producing artistic director of Asolo Repertory Theatre since 2006. He was previously the associate artistic director of Syracuse Stage and served as artistic director of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. A Garland Award and Drama Logue Award winning director, Edwards has directed at Cleveland Play House; Indiana Repertory Theatre; Geva Theatre; Syracuse Stage; The Shakespeare Theatre; San Jose Rep; Opera San Jose; the Oregon Shakespeare Festival; the Old Globe in San Diego; Virginia Stage Company; the Virginia Opera; the State Theatre of South Australia; Opera Australia; Victoria State Opera; and the Metropolitan Opera, where he staged revivals of Aida, The Barber Of Seville, Porgy And Bess and Phillip Glass’ The Voyage. In previous seasons for Asolo Rep, Edwards has directed Disgraced; Our Betters; The Grapes of Wrath; Clybourne Park; My Brilliant Divorce; Hamlet, Prince of Cuba; Las Meninas; La Bête; The Last Five Years; The Life of Galileo; Perfect Mendacity; The Winter’s Tale; Equus; A Tale of Two Cities; Darwin in Malibu; Nobody Don’t Like Yogi; Amadeus; The Smell of the Kill and most recently The Crucible.
Linda DiGabriele has served as Asolo Rep’s managing director since 1989. Prior to that time, she held other positions with Asolo Rep, including director of touring programs and stage manager. During her 12-year tenure with the touring programs, DiGabriele orchestrated 26 regional and national tours for Asolo Rep’s mainstage and educational companies. She has served several terms on the board of directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), a national organization of regional not-for-profit professional theatres. DiGabriele has been an advisory panel member for the National Endowment for the Arts and, for five years, the John F. Kennedy Center’s Theatre for Young Audiences. She is a past president of the Florida Professional Theatre Association and has served the Florida Division of Cultural Affairs as a member of various panels including the Grant Awards Task Force, Theatre Grants, Arts in Educations Grants, and the Cultural Institution Programs review committee. Other boards of directors’ appointments include ASSITEJ/USA, an international theatre organization for young audiences, the Florida Cultural Alliance, and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota County. A graduate of Florida State University, DiGabriele’s professional theatre experience includes acting and directing. She is honored to have been recognized by the Florida Professional Theatre Association’s Richard G. Fallon Award for Excellence in Professional Theatre and the Florida Theatre Conference’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
Now in its 63rd season, Asolo Repertory Theatre is recognized as one of the premier professional theatres in America and one of the largest in the Southeastern United States. One of the few select theatres in the nation that performs in true rotating repertory, Asolo Rep’s highly skilled acting company and extensive craftsmanship bring to life this unique performance method that gives audiences the opportunity to see multiple productions in the span of a few days. Asolo Rep presents up to 10 productions each season, including contemporary and classic works and provocative musical theatre experiences. A theatre district in and of itself, Asolo Rep is committed to expanding its reach into the community, furthering its collaboration with the best theatre artists working in the industry today and cultivating new artists through its affiliation with the FSU/Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training. Under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Michael Donald Edwards and Managing Director Linda DiGabriele, Asolo Rep’s ambitious theatrical offerings and ground-breaking education and community programming engage audiences and ensure its lasting legacy for future generations. Visit asolorep.org to learn more.