Leslee Silverman (Leif Norman)
The financially struggling Manitoba Theatre for Young People has relieved artistic director Leslee Silverman of her duties.
MTYP president Gloria Koop says Silverman's contract was not renewed and that after her 30 years with the company, organizational changes were needed given present challenges. Koop also says staff have been paid and the company no longer has any issues with meeting payroll. This follows news last week that staff at the theatre company didn't receive their paycheques.
Silverman founded the company and served as its artistic director for decades. In June of 2012, general manager Zaz Bajon told CBC the theatre was carrying a debt in excess of a million dollars from a capital expenditure of $5.6 million to build its location at The Forks.
MTYP is also dealing with an embezzlement loss of close to $80,000. The court case on charges stemming from that incident is expected to begin in a few months.
In 2011, Silverman was awarded the Governor General's Award for Performing Arts, the highest honour of its kind in Canada.