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January 29, 2015 at 5:18 PM

Obituary: Christopher Zinovitch, former ArtsWest head

Seattle Times theater critic Misha Berson writes:

The Seattle theater community is saddened this week by the Thursday, Jan. 29, passing of director, actor and arts administrator Christopher Zinovitch,  the former artistic director of ArtsWest Playhouse and Gallery in West Seattle.

Mr. Zinovitch died  in Bismarck, N.D., where he was artistic director of Dakota Stage Limited. The cause of death was aggressive brain cancer, diagnosed last December. He was 43.

Mr. Zinovitch hailed from Las Vegas, Nevada, and studied at Chapman University in California.

He worked at ArtsWest in different capacities for 13 years, ending with a three-year stint as artistic head of the West Seattle cultural center between 2011 and 2013.  Under his leadership, ArtsWest staged dozens of musicals and plays, many of them directed  by Mr. Zinovitch.

An outgoing, theatrical jack-of-all-trades who was passionately dedicated to his craft, Mr. Zinovitch also ran successful educational drama programs for children at ArtsWest, and  he was proud of his role in securing national funding for the company’s productions as well as a 2012 National Theatre Company Award from the American Theatre Wing.

Mr. Zinovitch left ArtsWest in 2013, after the board of directors pressed for his resignation. Mr. Zinovitch told the Seattle Times that he had disagreements with the board over the future  direction of ArtsWest, but the move took him by surprise.

He became artistic director of Dakota Stage Limited in February 2014, and his final production there opens this week with a set he designed. Mr. Zinovitch’s Facebook page also lists his profession as actor with the Spokane Interplayers in Spokane, Wash., since 2013.

Mr. Zinovitch is survived by his parents, three brothers and a sister, and several nieces and nephews. Information about funeral arrangements  has not been announced.

| More in Arts news | Topics: ArtsWest, Christopher Zinovitch, obituary


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