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Santa Monica Broad Stage Announces New Season, Departure of Artistic Leader

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Convention and Visitors Bureau Santa Monica


By Niki Cervantes
Staff Writer

April 6, 2016 -- Less than a year after arriving, the artistic leader of The Broad Stage at Santa Monica College is leaving for New York in an exit that was acknowledged as the company’s new season was unveiled Tuesday.

Executive director Wiley Hausam has departed from his post and given the new title of Senior Artistic Adviser, officials said.

“Wiley Hausam has for personal reasons decided to return to New York,” said Richard Kendall, who chairs The Broad Stage board of directors.

“He has curated our 2016-2017 season thus far, and we are looking forward to continuing to work with him in his new role.”

Hausam could not be reached for comment. He is being replaced on an interim basis by Jane Deknatel, who has been with the Broad Stage for six years since its 2008 opening.

The announcement of his departure comes one day after The Broad Stage, at SMC's Performing Arts Center, held a sneak peak of its upcoming season for donors on Monday.

Most of the preview was the product of Hausam’s work, said Tim Choy of Davidson & Choy Publicity in Los Angeles, which represents The Broad.

The season will also be bolstered by additional new works, including the Founding Director’s Series being curated by Dale Franzen, Choy said.

Franzen played a key role in opening The Broad Stage before stepping down in 2014.

Amid much fanfare, Hausam arrived in Santa Monica last year after serving as executive director for four years at Stanford Live and the Bing Concert Hall at Stanford.

He previously held top executive and artistic roles at the Skirball Center at New York University and the Performing Arts Center at Purchase College in upstate New York.

When he was hired last summer, Hausam said he hoped to bring more adventurous fare to The Broad, which operates in conjunction with SMC and is home to a 499-seat main stage and separate 99-seat space.

One of only three stage companies on the Westside, The Broad Stage offers theater, classical music, dance, jazz and family-friendly programming.

It has struggled financially at times, but has big names in its corner, including an artistic advisory board with Dustin Hoffman, Plácido Domingo, conductor Kent Nagano and other prominent performers.

Over the past few years, The Broad has been gaining attention with world premiers of new operas, such as Placido Domingo’s “Dule Rosa;” an eclectic mix of famous musicians, from jazz guitarist Pat Metheny to Brazilian phenomenon Luciana Souza, and partnerships with the likes of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.

Beginning Friday, The Broad Stage will present an acclaimed production of three short plays by Samuel Beckett ("Three Beckett Plays to Be Performed at Santa Monica College's Broad Stage," April 4, 2016).

There was no mention by Broad Stage officials Tuesday of any potential impact Hausam’s departure might have on the new season.

Hausam’s exit was included in a lengthy announcement about The Broad Stage’s 2016-2017 season, which will feature two dance companies, the music of St. Martin of the Fields with Inon Barnatan, three concerts continuing the Beethoven String Quartet cycle and six “Beethoven, Bagels & Banter” performances curated by Robert Davidovici.

Aside from numerous jazz concerts, The Broad also announced it will offer two stage productions and the addition of the new Founding Director’s Series to the ongoing Opera Recital Series.

Dates for the Founding Director’s Series and the Celebrity Opera Recital Series will be announced at a future date, officials said.

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