BAILEYS HARBOR, Wis. (WFRV) – Michael Stebbins, producing artistic director of Door Shakespeare, is stepping down effective Tuesday, May 31, the company announced Friday.

Stebbins “intended to resign at the end of the year, but that plan was accelerated due to an injury which prevented him from being on site with the theater this summer,” a press release says. 

Stebbins has been with the company for 4½ years. Along with being producing artistic director, Stebbins acted and/or directed productions and readings both live and virtual. Some productions continued online during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I have enjoyed my tenure with Door Shakespeare, and am more than grateful for the opportunities that were offered me,” Stebbins is quoted in the press release. 

Amy Ensign has been appointed acting artistic director and will guide the upcoming season. Ensign has been Door Shakespeare’s managing director since 2018. She has more than 30 years of experience in theater, instructional design, retail sales, training and marketing. Ensign’s career with Door Shakespeare started in 2007 as a member of the acting company, and eventually grew to include choreographer, company manager and education director. 

“We will certainly miss Michael,” board chair Judy Drew says in the press release. “But we’re extremely excited about the upcoming shows and our fantastic staff, cast and crew. And we feel very fortunate to have someone on staff whose experience and background with Door Shakespeare will ensure a smooth transition and a successful season.” 

Prior to joining Door Shakespeare in 2017, Stebbins, a Kenosha, native, spent eight years as Rep Stage’s producing artistic director in Columbia, Maryland. Prior to that, he worked with theaters ranging from the Tony Award-winning Berkeley Rep in California to off-Broadway’s Mint Theater Company.

Stebbins returned to Wisconsin in 2014 and appeared in productions with Milwaukee’s Theatre Gigante, Milwaukee Chamber Theatre, Skylight Music Theatre and Optimist Theatre.

For Door Shakespeare, here are sample productions Stebbins had a hand in:

+ https://www.doorshakespeare.com/blog/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-henry-v-stirs-the-imagination-in-baileys-harbor/

+ https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-wilder-plays/

+ https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-virtual-dream-upon-avon-embraces-the-bard-with-flair/

+ https://www.wearegreenbay.com/critic-at-large/warren-gerds-critic-at-large-review-virtual-the-comedy-of-errors-camp-x-3/

Michael Stebbins (center, under Scott McKenna Campbell’s hand) takes a bow with the cast of 2020’s “Henry V,” directed by Matt Daniels. (Door Shakespeare)

Door Shakespeare was founded in 1995 under the umbrella of the then-named American Folklore Theatre, today’s Northern Sky Theater. Since becoming its own nonprofit in 1999, Door Shakespeare has produced 44 productions in the Garden of Björklunden’s 405-acre estate in Baileys Harbor.

The 2022 season features “The Tempest” by William Shakespeare and “The Three Musketeers: An Adventure with Music” by Joe Pine, with music and lyrics by Scott McKenna Campbell.

The season runs June 22 to Aug. 27. Info: doorshakespeare.com.