A BLOG BY SHANNON FISHER
It is time to whisk away the tumbleweeds in the Firehouse Theatre Project standoff. The controversy surrounding the ill-received actions of the Board, controversy they had hoped would swiftly “blow over,” continues to grow with no sign of weakening. While the FTP is subsisting on prior ticket sales and donations, they are having difficulty finding talent amidst the firestorm. A resolution between the Board and the theater community that includes the reinstatement of Carol Piersol as Artistic Director is likely the only way to restore harmony and restore this theater to its former radiance.
Public outcry roars louder as new details emerge. After a successful capital campaign, the Firehouse recently underwent a renovation that created a state-of-the-art facility owned free and clear by the FTP. This type of theater is an attractive grab for anyone. The Board’s abrupt takeover of the direction of the FTP (which was painstakingly built by Carol Piersol and several Emeritus members over 20 years) unfortunately, to an outside observer, appears as if they are stealing a shiny hand-made toy from those who built it – simply because they have the legal right to do so.
Almost everyone who played a role in building the Firehouse’s reputation of artistic excellence is crying foul. Artists might be temperamental, but this stems from passion for their craft. This passion is what built the Firehouse Theatre Project, and it is what will return it to its glory. All eyes are on the Board to see if they understand that.