David Ivers is leaving his position as artistic director for Arizona Theater Company early next year to become artistic director for South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California. He’ll assume the new position full-time in March 2019, and plans to continue with ATC until then.
"The board is forming an ad hoc committee to determine the process to select David's successor," board chair Susan Segal wrote in a Saturday, September 22, email to Phoenix New Times. "We anticipate that the committee will meet in the next 10 days."
Segal also addressed when they expect to hire Ivers' replacement. "The board expects to have a new Artistic Director in place before David Ivers moves to California next spring," she wrote. Until then, she expects it will be "business as usual" at ATC.
Current ATC leadership includes managing director Billy Russo, who has been with ATC since 2015. Segal notes that he'll be working with Ivers to select ATC's next season, which the company plans to announce in February 2019.
Ivers joined ATC as artistic director in July, 2017, after serving as artistic director with the Utah Shakespeare Festival. He succeeded David Ira Goldstein, now artistic director emeritus with ATC. Goldstein’s tenure began in 1992.
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Arizona Theatre Company was founded as Arizona Civic Theatre in Tucson in 1967, and adopted its current name in 1979. Since 1990, the company has performed at both Herberger Theater Center and The Tempe of Art and Music in Tucson.
It’s faced significant challenges in recent years, due to financial shortfalls attributed to both the 2008 recession and management changes during 2012 and 2013. In June 2016, just a year before Ivers’ hire, the company announced it would need to quickly raise $2 million to avoid cancelling its next season.
The company raised sufficient funds to continue operations, and is currently performing its 52nd season, which will include a production of The Music Man directed by Ivers in early 2019.
"Arizona Theatre Company is in very sound financial shape," Segal wrote in her September 22 email. Even so she declined to provide specific budget numbers for Ivers' tenure. Instead, she offered the following comment: "Through fundraising and ticket sales, ATC is on track to clear existing debt in the next three years."