The Spokane Civic Theater continues to move forward just a week after firing the person in charge, Executive Artistic Director Yvonne Johnson. In 2005 the theater hired Johnson from a pool of 90 applicants following a national search, but now she's out of a job and it looks like a large legal battle is brewing. The board made the decision less than a week ago. On Wednesday we reached out to the Theater Board President for comment, but at this point Larry Wooley could not say anything.
KHQ Local News Reporter Alex Rozier was able to obtain Yvonne Johnson's annual review for 2012-2013. That review took place on June 10th, a little more than a month ago. It was an absolutely stellar review, which only raises more questions about why Johnson was fired. One part read quote:
"The 2012-2013 Theatrical Season for Spokane Civic Theater was again artistically and financially the most successful to date," the report said. "It is a testament to Ms. Johnson's continued leadership and talents as Executive Artistic Director."
A new Civic Theater President started July 1st, and it wasn't long before Johnson was fired by the board. The 10 member board votes and in the event of a tie the President gets the final say. We still don't know how anyone voted, we just know the end result.
Johnson had many accomplishments in her tenure in charge. Her resume says she directed Spokane Civic Theater's top four grossing award winning musicals. There was controversy, though, after she fired the Musical Director James Ryan in 2010.
We will continue to follow this story as it develops.