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Andrew Barnicle, longtime artistic director of Laguna Playhouse, stepping down

August 20, 2010 |  5:45 pm

Barnicle Following two decades at the helm of one of Orange County's most prominent theater organizations, Andrew Barnicle is resigning his position as artistic director of the Laguna Playhouse, the company said Friday.

During his tenure, Barnicle produced more than 100 shows and directed 39 productions. He will serve as an artistic consultant to the company through the transition to a new artistic director. He also will direct its upcoming production of "Private Lives" by Noel Coward, which will begin performances on March 15.

Since Barnicle joined the company in 1991, the Laguna Playhouse aimed to expand its offerings, becoming one of the top regional theater companies in Southern California. But in recent years, the company has experienced a scaling back of its overall mission as a result of  the recession and other factors.

Earlier this year, the Laguna Playhouse closed a satellite production facility in Laguna Hills in an effort to cut down on expenses. 

On Friday, the company said that it is "financially stable" and enjoying "a period of enhanced community connection." It will celebrate its 90th anniversary season in the coming year.

Barnicle will pursue outside directing and other creative opportunities after leaving the Laguna Playhouse.

-- David Ng

Photo: Andrew Barnicle. Credit: Laguna Playhouse