In a surprise announcement made just hours before the first preview of their new production Barefoot in the Park, Red Bank’s Two River Theater Company dislcosed that its dynamic artistic director, Aaron Posner, is departing the company when his contract expires at the end of the current stage season.

In a statement that you’ll read first on Red Bank oRBit, the TRTC board praises Posner for having “made huge strides in increasing the national profile of the theater,” while emphasizing that “it is equally important… to strengthen our presence in this community.” And, while it’s likely that today’s Snowmageddon sequel will force the cancellation of this evening’s preview performance at the Bridge Avenue auditorium, the board maintains that a nationwide search for Posner’s replacement will proceed apace.

While he’s a sought-after hot property as director and playwright, Posner (pictured red-handed for his smash production of Macbeth) is hardly cleaning out his desk just yet. He’s actively involved in the planning of next season’s mainstage schedule — and next month, he’ll be directing an acclaimed new adaptation of an ancient classic, called Orestes, A Tragic Romp.

We’ve got the details from Two River on this work-at-home Wednesday, along with a look back at Posner’s run in Red Bank — ONLY in  Red Bank oRBit!