Dowling to remain at Guthrie for 5 more yearsby Euan Kerr, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Joe Dowling, the artistic director of the Minneapolis-based Guthrie Theater, will remain in that position for another five years.
Jodee Kozlak, the board's president, announced at Monday's annual meeting that board extended the 62-year-old Dowling's contract until 2015.
"His extraordinary leadership is unparalleled," said Kozlak in a written statement. "His realization of our world-class facility, relentless pursuit of artistic excellence and unwavering commitment to this community and Guthrie audiences have established our institution as a heralded national center."
Dowling is already the longest-serving director in Guthrie history. He has been on the job since December 1995. He calls the extension his "final term" with the theater.
The board also reviewed the Guthrie's finances for the 2009-2010 fiscal year. Attendance dropped slightly, but the theater company finished the year with a slight surplus.
The Guthrie filled almost 436,000 seats during the fiscal year, a drop of about 27,500 over the previous year. When all concerts, training and other events are included, it did mount more productions -- 45 compared to 41 the year before.
The Guthrie ended up with a surplus of $134,000 on a $23.5 million budget. But Dowling noted the surplus came after a series of budget cuts including layoffs, fewer roles for actors, wage freezes and furloughs for theater staff.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report)