Esbjornson has declined to say where or why he is going. I asked board president Marty Taucher whether Esbjornson was leaving because of problems with budgets, programming, staff, or community relations. "All of those," he replied.Seattle Stranger digs a little deeper into David Esbjornson's departure from Seattle Rep.
Esbjornson's season programming reflected his background as a freelancer; it didn't cohere, but instead lurched from bold gambles like Rachel Corrie and Ariel Dorfman's Purgatorio to vapid pap like Tuesdays with Morrie and Back Home Again: A John Denver Holiday Concert.Article also argues Esbjornson's thoughts were never far from Broadway and found it hard to launch the jetsetting career of a Bob Falls or Bartlett Sher (his neighbor at Seattle's Intiman).
During Esbjornson's reign, the Rep has tried to be all things to all people. Taucher said Esbjornson has "pushed us to be more ambitious," but that newer and sometimes undercooked productions, like The Breach, "have not achieved a lot of resonance in this market." (According to the Rep, subscription sales are expected to fall 6 percent over the course of this season.)
A problem no more, apparently, since he'll reportedly be directing Al Pacino in Orphans on Broadway next year.