Curtain call | AspenTimes.com

Curtain call

Dear Editor:Last Sunday in The Denver Post, theater maven John Moore wrote the following in his Sunday column: Artistic director David McClendon nearly doubled Theatre Aspens operating budget in less than three years to $1.1 million. He raised the theaters official professional status. He brought in Broadway veterans, solidifying the companys growing artistic reputation. He envisioned a $50 million performing arts institute for Aspen that would include other local arts organizations. He planned to expand his company form summers only to year-round, performing in two new theaters and operating a Sundance-like lab for developing new projects. He never ran up a deficit. Now hes out of a job.After reading this column, I considered starting a campaign to rename the Wheeler Opera House the McClendon Performing Arts Center but decided not too. Im not sure if John Moore is McClendons best friend or simply delusional and theres nothing wrong with being delusional but are you kidding me?True, it was McClendon, with the backing of the board, who led the charge to be more than a summer theater. To his credit, he did make an effort to find the money. The problem was, his rhetoric was laced with misinformation and misdirection. In my opinion, he did more harm than good. When things were going downhill, like most nonprofits, Theatre Aspen tried to save face instead of addressing the issues head-on. In my world, truth trumps saving face. In respect to what went wrong do you have a few hours? I would have retired McClendon a year ago. Ask any of the local performing and behind-the-scenes talent deemed not good enough for the new professional Theatre Aspen, and youll get a picture.The current powers at Theatre Aspen are a group of very capable women. If John Moore wants to question their decision in respect to David McClendon, it might have served Theatre Aspen better if they had given Moore some facts with which to base his column the truth as to why McClendon really was not retained. At the same time, he and someone from Theatre Aspen might consider apologizing to the local talent they deserve at least that courtesy.Finally this: Under the McClendon era, the organization changed their name from Theater in the Park to Theatre Aspen. The last major company to do the same was AT&T to Cingular. But that didnt work, so they went back to AT&T. Maybe Theatre Aspen should do the same?Andrew KoleAspen

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