He may be retiring (somewhat) soon, but Michael Kahn’s passion for the performing arts is as powerful as ever.
Shakespeare Theatre Company Artistic Director, Michael Kahn.
ere is good reason to believe that virtual reality and other forms of digital entertainment (even those yet to be invented) will not signal the demise of live theater. at fact makes Michael Kahn, artistic director of the Shakespeare eatre Company (STC) for more than three decades, hopeful.
Sitting in an actor’s dressing room with mirrors framed by lightbulbs, the gravel-voiced Kahn bangs the table for emphasis. “ere will always be people that will go to the theater,” he declares. “It’s not about creating work that brings people there; I think it’s about creating people that want to go to the theater. at’s a little dierent than just saying, ‘OK, I’m going to do a play that millennials are going to love.’”
Now 80 years old, Kahn recently announced that he will retire at the end of the 2019 season, bringing the curtain down on a storied career, while theatergoers will still be able to applaud his statue in Sidney Harman Hall. He arrived in 1986 when, he recalls, Washington had only four theaters. Today, the capital city and Chicago are tied for second place, right after New York, for having the most stages of any U.S. city, and STC has become the nation’s leading premier classical theater company. For that, our city owes Kahn our gratitude. Shakespeare Theatre Co., Twelfth Night, Nov. 14-Dec. 20, Sidney Harman Hall, 610 F St. NW, DC, shakespearetheatre.org