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Friday, February 27, 2015

As a power couple leaves the Triangle, two arts institutions face new questions

Posted by on Fri, Feb 27, 2015 at 8:57 AM

click to enlarge Deirdre Haj in 2010, when she became executive director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. - FILE PHOTO BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • file photo by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Deirdre Haj in 2010, when she became executive director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
PlayMakers Artistic Director Joseph Haj is leaving the Chapel Hill theater company to direct the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, starting in July (read Byron Woods for more). As Minnesota Public Radio recently reported, “Haj plans to move to the Twin Cities later this year with his wife and 14-year-old daughter.” If you know who Haj is married to, that passing mention probably piqued your interest.

Joseph Haj is married to Deirdre Haj, who has been the executive director of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham since 2010. As PlayMakers faces the question of new leadership, we wondered if Full Frame had the same dilemma. But for now, it sounds like Deirdre Haj will remain in her role—just from afar.

“Deirdre will remain as the director of Full Frame through the 2015 festival and beyond as Joe prepares for his new job at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis,” Full Frame Communications Manager Lindsay Gordon-Faranda told the INDY in an email. “We’re looking forward to a great festival this year.” A follow-up asking for confirmation that Deirdre Haj would be moving with her family and administering Full Frame remotely went unanswered. Deirdre Haj could not be reached for comment.

The guarded replies are understandable. Because this is a developing situation, Full Frame's statement might reflect more of a placeholder plan than a fully considered, long-term one. At the very least, having an out-of-town executive director would be a big change for the Durham-based, internationally noted documentary festival, which returns April 9–12. We’ll be watching how it plays out.






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