- Man pleads guilty but mentally ill in 2013 murder
- Telephone, computer network outages at 22 Rockford schools
- Byron native selected as Sailor of the Year for Navy Band Southwest
- Illinois Tollway awards $337 million in contracts, sets budget
- 44 earn bachelor’s degrees at Saint Anthony College of Nursing
- Goodwill opens Donation Express site on Perryville
- Rock Valley College to manage TechWorks program
- University of Illinois at Chicago names chancellor
- Salvation Army to distribute food, toys to nearly 2,000 families
- American Manufacturing Competitiveness Act signed into law
New American Theater…a time of change
Last weeks announcement by New American Theater (NAT) Board Chairman Charles Granneman that Richard Raether, artistic director, and Jan Bacino, box office and group sales manager, had been terminated caught almost everyone completely by surprise. Comments ranged from Volunteer Laura Bergs: I saw a lot of talent leaving. The heart of NAT is gone; to Margaret Raethers: We were unaware that anything was wrong. No one intimated that fund-raising should be a primary job for Richard. He first auditioned for NAT when he was 18 and was a part of the organization for many years. When notified of his termination, the board said his work as a director was excellent.
The Raethers and many of the people I spoke with were mystified by the boards decision and the basis for the dismissals. Ken Staafs long association with NAT makes him a reliable source of information, and he said, We had no inkling… we were floored.
Gail Dartez, an intrinsic part of NAT, leaves in August to pursue her career in Chicago. She and Raether, instrumental in the development of Young American Theater and the Theater in Education Program, will be sorely missed. Few have their experience and commitment to building a basis for the arts with opportunities for young people to learn their craft and perform in an artistic venue.
Dartez said: Richard represented the essence and sensibility of NAT. The board doesnt even know what they did. It makes no sense.
The last vestiges of the old NAT disappear with the departure