Thursday, August 06, 2009

Skylight Theater in Milwaukee experiences epic woes; managing director Eric Dillner moves on

Former Shreveport Opera director Eric Dillner has been through an operatic tragedy at Skylight Theater, Milwaukee, says the NY Times. Seems Dillner blundered in his budget surgery. Cutting the wrong people, he incurred the wrath of arts bloggers as well as many performers and long-time fans. He has subsequently left his position.

Said the Times on Aug 3: "Mr. Dillner bore the brunt of the animosity. An outcry ensued. Demonstrations formed outside the theater in Milwaukee’s artsy Third Ward, and petitions circulated on the Internet. Tom Strini, the music and dance critic of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, called for Mr. Dillner to resign. The music director, Jamie Johns, denounced the company’s actions outside the theater in a tirade captured on YouTube."

Read more here.

And there's even more.

Thanks to Pete Haas and Susan Rogers for following this story.


Anonymous said...

Putting every fact aside that concerns this situation, isn't it nice to read about a community that is so passionate about their arts that they would picket, resign, raise a ruckus, INVEST themselves into what is going on in their city. Here, in Shreveport, our Symphony dies, the Opera struggles, the professional theater company gets no serious support, the city cuts arts budgeting and it's all met with a yawn and the question, "When's the next Mardi Gras party?"
Sad. Shreveport will get what it deserves.

Anonymous said...

Whoever you are that posted your comment, you are so dead on. I know for a fact that Mr. Dilner left an $80,000 deficit for the Opera to dig out from under. The Symphony is now only a memory and River City Rep which has brought the best theater to this city in years is still homeless and looking for Shreveporters to understand that they deserve more than amateur theater and kiddie shows. Is Shreveport so self hating that they only think the lowest level of entertainment is all they deserve?
People, wake up! There's more to life than hee haw comedies and stupid artspace exhibits.

Anonymous said...

Just a question? I agree there have been some questionable exhibits in the past, but have you seen the exhibits in the past year. They step up the game with each new exhibit, which I can't say about some of the other arts organizations. Stupid? go check out the Graffiti Show that takes up two floors. Not sayin that citizens and politics in this town aren't to blame, but so are the artists. If you love what you do, you are going to do it anywhere you want. The artists have to take some responsiblity. If you play to the lowest level then thats what you will get in return. We have to educate.

Anonymous said...

You are 100% correct. A huge portion of what is wrong with the arts in this city is that the lowest common denominator is being catered to. Instead of a critical eye and high standards being applied to things, the mediocre and the less talented seem to be running the show. And if one speaks up against that, then you're told that you're evil and negative. Someone needs to say that the Emperor is naked.