Mr. Sabato here has reigned supreme at the Santa Fe Performing Arts organization (SFPA) as its executive artistic director for just over 20 years, and under his watchful eye he’s created lavish musicals, youth productions and beloved classic plays time and time again. But all good things must end, and Sabato is ready to enter a new chapter of creativity, leaving SFPA behind.
Why did you decide to step down?
I’ve got a couple of other projects percolating, and it’s just time for me to do something else. And Megan [Burns, the new executive artistic director] is more than qualified to take the reins. I’m excited! Home is here, but I’ll be doing a bit more traveling, and I’m excited for Megan. I think she’ll take the organization into some wonderful new directions.
What’s next for you?
I’ll be going back to my roots a bit. I’m a lifetime member of the Actor’s Studio in New York, so I’ll be going back there. I’ve got some things going on a creative level with television. I’ll be writing, producing, possibly directing, and we’ll just see how it all manifests itself.
The million-dollar question—can Santa Fe cultivate and maintain a sustainable theater scene?
Y’know, Santa Fe has never been known as a theater town, but for those of us who live here, it’s a wonderful place to work on your craft; you don’t have the pressures of a larger market. As far as what’s happening now, I’m enthusiastic about the future of local theater because a majority of the things happening are with the young people coming in. Santa Fe is different. I think it was Governor [Lew] Wallace who said something like, what works everywhere else doesn’t work in New Mexico. But theater is such a valuable tool, I think it’s looking into the community and asking how we can play our little part.