Friday, September 18, 2020
Company of Fools Head Moves On
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Saturday, August 8, 2020
 

STORY AND PHOTO BY KAREN BOSSICK

Company of Fools’ artistic director Scott Palmer is leaving to become executive director of the Crested Butte Center for the Arts in Crested Butte, Colo.

Scott Palmer, who joined Company of Fools in October of 2018, will leave Aug. 21.

Palmer said that he has loved his time with the artist and staff of the Fools but that the COVID pandemic had forced his hand.

“In light of the cancellation of Company of Fool’s 25th season and the ongoing pressures applied to professional theaters across the world from COVID-19, I felt that it was time for me to explore new challenges and help shape and influence the future programming of the Crested Butte Center for the Arts,” Palmer said.

“I know that the future of the Fools is bright,” he added.

The Sun Valley Museum of Arts Board of Directors will hold discussions with the community and the Wood River Valley’s theater community as it tries to set a new course for Company of Fools. Those interested in participating should contact SVMoA at information@svmoa.org.

“Although we are sad to see Scott go, it is understandable given the circumstances we are facing,” said Ellen Gillespie, SVMoA’s board president. “We brought Scott to the valley to be an active and creative leader for the theater. Now, with the cancellation of the season, the Fools are in something of a holding pattern.”

Gillespie said the board will entertain Palmer’s advice and suggestions as it examines the best ways to ensure the Company of Fools continues to bring high quality, professional theater to the residents of the Wood River Valley.

“What that looks like will be informed by deep conversations with Company of Fools staff, artists, donors and theater colleagues in the broader community,” she added.

Palmer said that now is a natural time for the SVMoA and the Fools staff to do “a deep dive into the future of the theater.”

“There are a lot of challenges ahead, including how to produce theater when we aren’t able to gather audiences in the Liberty Theatre, how to address Actors Equity Association issues around contracts for union-represented artists and how to embrace a more equitable and inclusive way of making theater,” he said.

Palmer, who came to Company of Fools from a theater company he founded in Hillsboro, Ore., programed a season of work that included American theater classics, such as “Crimes of the Heart,” along with contemporary work like “Cry It Out,” Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley” and “The Niceties.”

He also created Intensives theater education workshops and expanded The Fools’ accessibility programming to include performances for parents and their babies and performances for audiences with sensory disabilities.

The Crested Butte Center for the Arts, which he is joining, is the largest cultural non-profit in Crested Butte, Colo. It recently completed a $20 million capital campaign and constructed a state-of-the-art performing and visual arts facilities.

 

 

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