The year’s biggest local theater news was the March resignation of Capital Stage artistic director and co-founder Stephanie Gularte. Eight months later, the national search ended as close as possible to its origins, as Jonathan Williams, Gularte’s husband and also a co-founder of the company, was surprisingly named the new artistic director. Williams had initially not been a part of the search process but put his name in at last minute, and now he’ll lead the company forward.
The region’s professional theaters continued to keep pace with national trends by offering the most popular plays of the past year. Of American Theatre magazine’s Top 10 Most-Produced Play list of 2013-14, the top six have been professionally produced regionally in 2013 or are scheduled for 2014: “Venus in Fur” at B Street Theatre, “Clybourne Park” at Capital Stage, “Good People” at Capital Stage in April 2014, “Other Desert Cities” at B Street Theatre, “The Mountaintop” at Capital Stage, and “4,000 Miles” at Capital Stage in March 2014. Not surprisingly the most satisfying productions featured the strongest ensembles from top to bottom.
Several shows deserve recognition. Here are some thoughts on the past year in this region’s professional theater.