Rochester Civic Theatre director resigns

The Rochester Civic Theater benefit on Sept. 24, 2016.
The Rochester Civic Theater in September 2016. In a statement, the theater's spokesperson said that Kevin Miller, who took over during a tumultuous moment in the organization’s history, had left to spend more time with his family in Wisconsin.
Jerry Olson for MPR News

The Rochester Civic Theatre Company's executive director has resigned.

In a statement Friday, a theater spokesperson said that Kevin Miller, who has led the organization for just shy of two years, had left to spend more time with his family in Wisconsin.

The Civic Theatre is among a handful of institutions in Rochester, Minn., that receive taxpayer money annually to operate — most recently getting about $200,000 from the city.

According to Rochester city officials, Miller's departure came as a surprise this week. Some of them learned about it just days after communicating with Miller about an upcoming budget oversight meeting.

“I believe it was a surprise to everybody,” said council member Shaun Palmer, who sits on an oversight committee tasked with making sure the theater and other institutions are spending taxpayer money responsibly. “It was a surprise to me.”

Palmer added that he did not have any concerns about the theater’s budget.

Miller was made executive director of the Civic Theatre in early 2018 after a difficult time for the theater.

In 2017, MPR News reported multiple sexual harassment accusations directed at the theater's former leader. Those accusations came to light during a fight over the direction of the organization between the theater’s board members and community members who volunteered in the theater’s plays.

Miller could not immediately be reached for comment Friday afternoon.

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