Stage Door: Bruffy Quits Utah Gig

Not much to recommend onstage this weekend. In fact, there's really nothing going on as local theater companies are rehearsing for productions that will open later in the month. But there there is drama in Salt Lake City involving a former Cincinnati theater artist.

Less than four months on the job, Jason Bruffy, artistic director for six years Know Theater of Cincinnati, is leaving his position as executive artistic director with the Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC). Bruffy, who founded the Cincinnati Fringe Festival and worked to bring Know to a more professional level in a new physical facility on Jackson Street in Over-the-Rhine, expressed his reasons for departure from the 31-year-old theater in two words: "Artistic differences."—-

According to an article in the Jan. 7 Salt Lake Tribune, Bruffy and the theater's board of trustees reached a decision to part ways on Jan. 5. In the article, Bruffy says, "I think SLAC has a lot of potential to become a theater company with a national reputation. My job was to help take it in that direction, but it seems that vision was not shared with the organization." When SLAC announced Bruffy's hiring in September 2009, he was praised for his "entrepreneurial passion" for stage production.

Bruffy is a talented director and I'm sure he'll find his way with a theater that's ready to move in exciting directions. His departure from Cincinnati was a loss, but it said a lot that he'd done so much locally. His parting from SLAC seems to say more about a company's unwillingness to be open to new ideas. Too bad for Salt Lake City.

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