Brendan Healy is stepping down as artistic director of Buddies in Bad Times after six seasons at the helm of the Toronto theatre company dedicated to the work of gay, lesbian and transgender artists.
"I am very pleased with what we have achieved over the last six years," Healy said in a statement. "I do not entirely know what the future holds for me but I am ready to take on new challenges and adventures."
Buddies, which bills itself as "the longest-running and largest facility-based queer theatre in the world," has thrived artistically during Healy's tenure, receiving 34 nominations at the Dora Mavor Moore Awards. Productions directed by Healy have done particularly well: He has been nominated for the Dora for outstanding direction three times, winning in 2011 for his work on Sarah Kane's Blasted.
Yet Healy has at times expressed frustration at attracting audiences to Buddies at a time when LGBT work has become increasingly mainstream.
"The company is financially solid, our shows have received numerous accolades and awards, and there is a general consensus that Buddies is an important cultural force in the city," he wrote in a 2013 open letter to theatregoers. "And still, show after show, we continuously struggle to get people come."
Healy will step down officially in September. A search committee led by board member Mary Breen will hunt for a successor.