While the Guthrie board has not yet assembled a list of candidates to replace Joe Dowling, these people are likely to be on the board's long list.

Oskar Eustis, artistic director, Public Theater, New York

Pro: The Public, under Twin Cities-bred Eustis, is a high-profile nonprofit theater that regularly transfers shows to Broadway and whose star-studded summer series in Central Park is always oversubscribed.

Con: Eustis comes from the same pool as all of the Guthrie's previous leaders: white males. Plus, would he move here when he's well-positioned in the nation's theater capital?

Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director, Center Stage, Baltimore

Pro: In three years, this award-winning British director and playwright has excited Center Stage watchers with his global vision.

Con: A chancellor of University of the Arts London, he is a Brit who is still early in his American tenure.

Emily Mann, artistic director, McCarter Theatre at Princeton

Pro: Mann, who earned a master's degree at the University of Minnesota, is respected both as a playwright and visionary leader. She has commissioned many younger American playwrights (Lydia Diamond, Christopher Durang, Tarell Alvin McCraney) and could bring exciting new work to the Guthrie.

Con: Would she leave the McCarter, where she has been for more than two decades?

Diane Paulus, Tony-winning head of the American Repertory Theater at Harvard

Pro: A creative powerhouse, Paulus won a best-director Tony last year for "Pippin." Her production of "Hair" also won a Tony for best revival.

Con: Paulus, who lives in New York and commutes to Boston, has said she currently has her dream job.

Bill Rauch, head of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Pro: Rauch runs the nation's biggest regional theater, with a $35 million budget and healthy attendance. His production of "All the Way" is on Broadway, and he's commissioned more than three dozen plays on important moments in American history.

Con: Can the Twin Cities match the clout and power he has in Oregon?

Mark Rylance, former head of Shakespeare's Globe

Pro: A Wisconsin-born, British-bred, Tony-decorated showman who has appeared several times at the Guthrie ("Peer Gynt," "Twelfth Night," "Big Fish") and knows this community.

Con: Would he be able to make the adjustment to working in a theater ecology that is not as highly subsidized as it is in Britain?

Rohan Preston