Bruun to leave Mad Cow

Alan Bruun, who cofounded Mad Cow Theatre with three others 13 years ago, will leave his job as the theater’s long time artistic director at the end of the current season. The season closes in August with Macbeth, which Bruun will direct — his 41st show for Mad Cow and the theater’s 100th.

Bruun, who has worked most of his tenure at Mad Cow without salary, is also associate creative director for Walt Disney Entertainment.

Along with Orlando Shakespeare Theater, Mad Cow is one of Orlando’s two leading professional theater companies. The small downtown theater is known for its productions of the classics and for cutting-edge modern drama.

A search is on for his replacement.


21 responses to “Bruun to leave Mad Cow

  1. Joseph Hayes

    That is stunning news.

  2. I am certain Mr. Bruin has a wonderful new opportunity awaiting him, as well as his position with Disney. Perhaps he’ll main as a Guest Director from time to time. He is such a strong member of our theatrical community. I might suggest you look towards John DiDonna as a possible replacement. Both of these gentlemen worked for me at the L. A. Acting Workshop, and they are both mighty men, in their own rights.

  3. Michael Marinaccio

    Alan has been a mentor, an inspiration, a brother, a father figure, and a friend to me. While his invaluable contribution to Mad Cow will be greatly missed, this is a moment to applaud all that he has done for the company, and for theatre in Orlando over the past 13 years. Frankly, with the time, energy and passion he’s invested in Mad Cow over the years, it’s awe-inspiring that he has lasted so long as Artistic Director. You have earned your retirement and then some, boss. Bravo Alan, bravo.

  4. John DiDonna

    Thank you for the compliment Amy, but Alan IS MadCow – his energy and love will be long missed and irreplaceable. Alan, I hope this move brings you happiness and joy.

  5. Ron Schneider

    Michael said it.

  6. I walked into the Civic Theatre over 16 years ago to audition for A Few Good Men and met the man. Tall, erudite, passionate and compassionate. And he cast me.
    I can say that my life would not be the same without the presence of Alan Bruun in it. Both personally and professionally.
    Like Michael and I am sure so many of us, he mentored and inspired. He made me a better performer and a better person. He performed my wedding ceremony.
    So I echo Michael’s plaudits. I can’t say it better so I won’t…
    To Alan Bruun. Thank you for 13 fantastic years. Can’t wait to see what is next.

  7. Paul Castaneda

    Best of luck to Mr. Bruun in all future endeavors.

    Beautiful words, Michael. And I hope I am not speaking out of school or in the “too soon” category in saying that I hope you get a strong look for this position, Micheal. You have been a performer, director, advocate, cheerleader, etc at Mad Cow for a long time now.

    That being said, these will certainly be huge shoes to fill.

  8. gayle wirtz

    I’ll remain in the herd because I know what a great depth of talent exists at Mad Cow. Of course, I wish Alan continued success; but I do hope that he can stay involved with the OPO and its continued development of concert opera and musicals.

    Looking forward to “The Heiress” this afternoon, and “MacBeth” next month!

  9. Michael Marinaccio

    Thanks for the kind words and the vote of confidence, Paul, but I wouldn’t be my first choice. 🙂

  10. Joseph Hayes

    When I first came to Orlando, I worked as a sound tech for two seasons at Lake Eola with Shakespeare. Alan was part of the company out in the spring and summer heat, and he is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met in this business, considerate of everyone’s opinions whether on the stage or behind it. And a funny, powerful actor, which I’ve missed seeing – maybe that’s his next path? He’s an inspiration for us all.

  11. This is the very first blog comment I’ve ever made anywhere. But I felt compelled to express how much I will miss Alan Bruun’s presence at Mad Cow. His artistic vision has moved me countless times in countless ways. I wish you the very best, Alan.

  12. Rob Anderson

    I have been extremely fortunate to have been able to work side by side with Alan for the past few years. He provided me with opportunities that have made a lasting impression on me. Our mutual trust and respect allowed me to create without fear and I am forever grateful for that. His presence in the Orlando Theatre community will be sorely missed but the impression and the artistic legacy that he has left for us will be felt for years to come. Thank you, Alan, for Mad Cow and for your insight and passion for theatre. I am ringing the cowbell for you and lifting my glass. Here’s to you…

  13. lauding alan bruun’s accomplishments could take a while (and should). he has been a positive force for theatre in orlando for decades. but, i must offer my own opinion that no one person can “be” an institution. if alan is mad cow, as some have stated, then you are selling short the efforts of hundreds of people’s contributions for the last decade and more. if mad cow is to continue as a viable theatre company it must divest itself of the “one person” ethos. mad cow began and grew as a collaboration of artists and art lovers. steering it to a more “professional” institution was alan’s doing (and please don’t forget mitzi’s contributions!!). the fact that they kept the lights burning in impossible circumstances is a testament to their individual stamina and creativity. they elevated the company from a wandering troupe to a downtown artistic anchor. but times are not easy for mad cow. anyone who has worked there in the last few years has been aware of the financial challenges presented by an uncertain economy and the even more fickle tides of philanthropic sources. things were done, words were said. but i digress… the forces that started mad cow, dedicated, forward looking artists with a passion for their craft, are still here. it would be a crime to lose this wonderful company that has built such a bright bridge of accomplishment to this city and this community. if “alan is mad cow”,then this could happen. so let’s acknowledge that many are responsible for the success of mad cow and seek out the next chapter of what will be. replacing alan is impossible. seeking out the next leader, working with and acknowledging all contributors could be the next task. change is inevitable. those that seek it tend to ride it’s power to their advantage. those that resist it are swept along in it’s irresistible force anyway. surf’s up

  14. Michael Marinaccio

    Amen, Sam. It’s “all hands on deck” time, and there are a lot of us deck hands…

  15. Met the man shortly after I began my Orlando theater career. He taught me, he supported me, he listened to me and didn’t hate when I hit him in the head while playing raquetball. I know there’s more fun to come.Change is good, especially when it’s by choice. Am excited for new things for Alan and Mad Cow, and I know he is too!

  16. Rick Stanley

    Sam Hazell addresses the real issue here. No one person was ever Mad Cow. We started (and I was in the first season) as a group of actor/ directors (but mostly actors) who wanted to work. We found a small space that was affordable. We did good work. Audiences came and paid the affordable ticket prices and we grew. Slowly and difficulty, we grew. We became a 501c3 and celebrated with champagne. We formed a board and began the difficult task of fundraising. Then one by one the founders of Mad Cow went their different ways.There were many reasons why this happened but ultimately this is a common story among theatre companies. I stayed for 8 years as a board member and resident artist. I did my best work in my life as an actor for this company. I am not writing to place blame or to defame anyone but I feel that if this arts orginization is to continue bringing good work to this community then real effective efforts must be put into place immediately to save Mad Cow. There are all sorts of issues that cannot be revealed in a blog that are affecting the survival of this company and unless the powers that be in the arts community acknowledge the severity of this change of leadership I am afraid Mad Cow will not survive. If you want this company to continue to do great work and be an affective artisitic influence on the culture of our local world then write a check and send it to Mad Cow because otherwise I think this GREAT theatre company will cease to exist. I promise to do my part in keeeping Mad Cow alive. Will you?

  17. Elizabeth Dean

    Well stated thoughts by so many above. The page is certainly turning to a new chapter, for Alan and for Mad Cow. I’m so excited for what the future holds for both. Alan is a pivotal character in the previous chapters of my life, a catalyst that moved my story along with color, warmth and not just a little magic. I suspect Alan will appear in future chapters and I cannot wait to see him there. Mad Cow is here and now and the story there continues every day. Best of luck Alan, I will miss you. Mad Cow, I’m SO excited for what the future holds!

  18. John DiDonna

    To Sam my dear friend – in reference to my personal compliment “alan is madcow” – it was not to be taken literally but in a true spirit of love and fellowship. It was a bow and an honor and a compliment to a man who dedicated so much, not an insult or a lack of acknowledgement to anyone else at all. Simply a celebration of Alan, that is all.

  19. Much success and happiness to Alan in all his future ventures. New chapters of transition always come with a mixed bag of excitement and reflection.
    Cheers to Alan and all his work and contributions to MadCow and the arts community. Cheers to MadCow for succession and what’s to come.

    Personal thanks to Alan for casting me in my Orlando debut play ( A Christmas Carol ) at The Civic before I even lived in Orlando in 1995. In many ways, this was the reason I even moved to Flordia.

    If Fringe, Beth Marshall Presents or myself can aid in this transition in anyway, just let me know.

  20. Best wishes to Alan in his next phase of artistic life. I know it will be grand.
    Best wishes to Mad Cow as it evolves into the next phase of its’ artistic life.
    Alan was the first person I interviewed with when I moved to Orlando. He and John Loesser gave me my first job in theatre in this town- box office assistant at Civic Theatres! Thanks, Alan!

  21. Kurt James Wagner

    Kudos for a job well done, Alan.
    Years ago, and through our many, many projects together, you have earned and will always have my respect.

    Good luck, my friend.