Blake Robison, who has served as Round House Theatre’s Producing Artistic Director for the past seven years, will leave at the end of the season, the theater announced yesterday.
Robison will take the helm as Artistic Director at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.
Robison’s signature innovation at Round House has been the adaptation of great books to the stage. This year, for example, Round House will feature plays based on “Pride and Prejudice” and “The Odyssey,” and has recently closed a stage version of “Fahrenheit 451.” No word yet on whether Robison will duplicate this approach at Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, a two-time Tony Award winner: for its revival of Company in 2007 and the 2004 Regional Theatre Award.
“Blake has guided Round House Theatre through a series of milestones and solidified our position as an artistic force in the DC metro region,” said Sally Patterson, President of the theater’s Board of Trustees. “I have no doubt that Round House is stronger than ever, both artistically and organizationally. Blake has brought us the best actors, artisans, and directors and inspired a talented, generous, and dedicated staff and Board.”
“We’ve taken some chances together – producing more world premieres, commissioning local playwrights, carving out a more literary identity, and opening our facilities to a bunch of hungry and creative emerging artists,” Robison reminisced. “I’m confident that a new person will build on this foundation and take the organization to greater heights. During the coming year, it will be business as usual as I continue to direct, oversee Round House productions, and manage operations.”
During Robison’s tenure, Round House has produced six world premieres (The Book Club Play, How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Alice, A Murder, A Mystery & A Marriage, and his own adaptation of Alice McDermott’s Charming Billy) and two American premieres (The Talented Mr. Ripley and Camille).
He also established Forum Theatre and Contradiction Dance as companies-in-residence at Round House Silver Spring and launched Round House’s “Kitchen” program to provide free rehearsal space to area artists. At the close of the last fiscal year, Round House had an annual operating budget of $5.2 Million and no long-term debt.
Patterson announced that Round House will form a search committee to find Robison’s successor.