The director of Durham's Gala Theatre has resigned citing frustration over the way it is run and claiming it is "in limbo".
Simon Stallworthy started at the city centre venue in April 2005 and nearly two years ago Durham County Council took over.
He said he had hoped to be told clearly how the theatre would be run and felt uncertainty was stifling creativity.
But the council rejected the claim the theatre or staff were in limbo.
Mr Stallworthy said he had expected a clear indication of how the Gala would be run.
He said his preferred option was as a stand-alone trust.
"It's very hard for a theatre to stand still and very hard to be the director of a theatre which is in limbo and increasingly bogged down by policies and procedures not relevant to a creative business," he said.
"I have decided it's time for me to move on."
He said he had some "wonderful memories" and was proud of increasing the theatre's audience and the in-house productions.
Council head of commissioning Nick Whitton said: "It is correct that the authority is considering the governance arrangements for Gala for the future but it is not the case that the organisation or our staff have been left in limbo since Gala became part of Durham County Council.
"The Gala will continue to be well run and we wish Simon well for the future."