Marianne Combs has a great roundup of people who her readers think should be considered for the Guthrie AD job. There’s some good folks on there, but I think they’re missing a couple. So here, humbly, are my suggestions:
The legendary director most famous for his collaborations with playwright and actor Wallace Shawn would bring a new intimacy and rigor to the work at the Guthrie. Hiring such a huge name would also bring national media attention.
Downside: Would only produce one play every seventeen years.
This might seem an out-of-left-field suggestion, but Joe Dowling is already so identified with the Guthrie, perhaps they could just replace him with… him! Why mess with success?
Downside: Recent seasons not actually successful.
Richards is a brilliant scientist who has saved the world on a number of occasions while managing to find a work-life balance that is the envy of superheroes the world over. He also has project managed multimillion dollar efforts on behalf of himself and The Avengers. Given his abilities to stretch his limbs over impossible distances, perhaps “Mr. Elastic” can find ways to stretch a large nonprofit’s budget!
Downside: Heterosexual white male. No demonstrated interest in theater.
The Ghost of August Wilson
August Wilson belongs in the upper reaches of the pantheon of American playwrights. He also has deep Minneapolis ties thanks to his work with Penumbra. Not only would having a dedicated champion of African American theatre bring much needed diversity to the Guthrie’s offerings, putting a playwright—even a dead one—in charge of such a large institution would send a message
Downside: Can only attend meetings via Ouija board.
A Tater Tot Hot Dish
Nothing is more Minneapolis than a Tater Tot Hot Dish, and it would keep with the Guthrie’s tradition of choosing bland, creamy leadership.
Downside: May be eaten before it can take office.