There will be no second act for Don Wiswell, at least not on the stage of Hagerstown's Maryland Theatre. His resignation as managing director, after a little more than a month on the job, leaves the historic facility (again) with no leader who has any theater experience.
We knew Wiswell's days were numbered when he cancelled a planned interview, saying that he'd been unaware that it was board policy that employees couldn't speak to the press. At the time, we said that we could understand that the board might not want the custodial staff, for example, talking about matters beyond their expertise. But trying to market a theater and gagging the guy expected to do the job made about as much sense as hiring a tap dancer, then telling him he'd have to perform with his ankles shackled together.
The board said its gag policy came about because of banks' concern that that employees and volunteers were talking to the press. But William Reuter, president of F&M Bank, the lead institution on the loan, said it wasn't employee/volunteer statements to the press that concerned lenders, but the fact that the board was trying to negotiate loan terms through the press.