The Jeff Award-winning ensemble, American Theater Company, has lost 23 members who have severed ties with the organization, and have announced that they will continue on as American Blues Theatre.

In a statement, the departing ensemble members cite "major administrative and artistic differences" with the American Theater Company as the reason for the change. The newly formed organization will present two productions in 2010.

Individuals supporting this departure include founding members Rick Cleveland, James Leaming, and William Payne; former Artistic Directors Carmen Roman, Kate Buddeke, and Stef Tovar, returning member Tom Geraty, as well as Dawn Bach, Matthew Brumlow, Casey Campbell, Dennis Cockrum, Lauri Dahl, Cheryl Graeff, Kevin R. Kelly, Ed Kross, Heather Meyers, John Mohrlein, Jim Ortlieb, Suzanne Petri, Tania Richard, Editha Rosario, John Sterchi, and Gwendolyn Whiteside.