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MTYP saviour stepping down

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Derek Aasland, who as artistic director led the Manitoba Theatre for Young People away from a financial cliff to a $137,000 surplus for the 2012-13 season, will resign June 30.

He has accepted a position in Ontario to be closer to his family, a press release sent out late Monday afternoon says.

"This has been a remarkable experience," Aasland is quoted as saying in the release. "The staff, board and community rallied with incredible dedication to build a new future for MTYP. I couldn’t be prouder to have played my part."

MTYP has launched a search committee, led by its board of directors, for a replacement. Max Reimer has been named interim artistic director.

The theatre thanked Aasland for his 16 months at the job and his efforts in stabilizing the company. The release says the company expects to post a second surplus with Aasland at the helm once the 2013-14 books are settled.

Aasland implemented a dramatic downsizing after he was hired in March 2013, cutting the number of shows in 2013-14 to five, clearing $330,000 of accumulated unpaid bills and raising another $250,000 from foundations, corporations and the public.

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