Vogt vacates Turnage helm

Published 6:57 pm Thursday, August 16, 2007

By Staff
Interim director could be named in matter of days
News Editor
The man who has overseen the restoration of the historic Turnage Theaters complex in downtown Washington left his post, effective immediately, Tuesday night.
John Vogt, who was hired as executive director of the Turnage Theaters Foundation in 2005, could be replaced by an interim director as early as next week, according to foundation spokesman Norm Koestline. Vogt’s departure comes just weeks before completion of the first round of the complex’s rehabilitation. That first phase is scheduled to be finished next month.
Koestline would not say that Vogt had been fired, instead terming his leaving “a departure under mutual terms.” Asked about a possible compensation package for Vogt, Koestline deferred the question to attorney Raney Singleton Holbrook, who had not returned calls from the Daily News as of Wednesday night.
In the past year, the Turnage Theaters Foundation has seen plans that have been in the works for more than a decade come to fruition, Koestline said. But recently, the foundation asked an executive committee to review the status of the entire project and to “look into concerns,” he said.
The nonprofit foundation set out in 1996 to restore the historic theaters on Main Street and convert them into a regional performing arts center. The foundation has raised $2.5 million to rehabilitate the 1930s portion of the Turnage complex, a project that will be done by the end of next month. An opening night performance in the 1930s theater is slated for Nov. 3.
Attempts to reach both Vogt and Turnage Theaters Foundation President Jerry Smyre were unsuccessful as of late Wednesday.
Once phase one of the Turnage project is finished, plans to restore the Vaudeville theater on the second floor of the building will begin to take shape. The Vaudeville is the original theater, built in 1913. In the 1930s, the building was expanded and another theater was built on the ground floor. Once that theater was erected, the Vaudeville was no longer used.