CTG’s Desai decision…and the Ahmanson’s 1776. Hitting the Road in Scintilla.

Center Theatre Group managing director/CEO Meghan Pressman and CTG’s newly appointed artistic director Snehal Desai. Photo: Kim Newmoney.

Don Shirley – Angeles Stage

Plus ‘Private Lives’ and ‘Ava’

Snehal Desai is approaching a high wire.

No tightrope in LA theater is higher than the balance beam that challenges the artistic director of Center Theatre Group — the job that Desai will assume in August, after leaving his similar position at the much smaller, Asian-American-specific East West Players.

He will be in charge of programming the Mark Taper Forum and the larger Ahmanson Theatre at LA County’s downtown Music Center, beginning with the 2024-2025 season. Eventually his domain will also include the Kirk Douglas Theatre — although the midsize Douglas, in downtown Culver City, will probably have to close temporarily, sometime after two final productions of the 2022-2023 season occur there later this year, in order to accommodate the construction of a housing/retail project on the east side of the Douglas.

No one disputes CTG’s historical status as LA’s flagship non-profit theater company, with the biggest budget in town — $46 million revenue for the fiscal year ending in June 2020.

But earlier this month LA Times theater critic Charles McNulty ranked CTG third among LA County theater companies, in terms of its current quality. Pasadena Playhouse was in first place on McNulty’s best-three-theaters list, and the runner-up was Geffen Playhouse. Ouch. Read more…