By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Eric Nicholson
Since Cliff Redd returned to his roots as executive director of the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas last April, all hell's broken loose. "You might say we have a hyperactive staff," Redd says of the ambitious programming changes for the festival this summer, plus the February launch of an $850,000 capital campaign for extensive improvements to the festival's amphitheater at Samuell Grand Park.
Redd announced that the festival will mount five productions over six weeks this year instead of the usual two, and will bring Canadian and Mexican troupes to Dallas for performances that Redd says are experimental. "The festival is experiencing a total metamorphosis," Redd says, "and one of the things we're learning is, we may like to have an international component every year."
This summer, Canada's Repercussion Theatre will open the season on June 20 with Comedy of Errors, followed by its production of Romeo and Juliet. On July 18, Spanish-speaking Shakespearean actors from Mexico City will open A Midsummer Night's Dream, directed by Carlos Corona, an independent producer. Marketing director Derrick Ricketts says the Dallas festival will partner with Undermain Theater on July 4 for a performance of Pericles and finish the season with the Texas Shakespeare Festival of Kilgore's The Winter's Tale.
Redd says that as soon as the summer season ends, construction will begin on the park's improvements, including redesign of the entry plaza and construction of reserved seating, sound and lighting booth, vending pavilion, and a pre-performance corporate entertainment plaza. "We just received notification of a $93,000 grant for this project from the Karl Hoblitzelle Foundation," Ricketts says. The festival also announced a $75,000 grant from the Dallas Foundation. Redd says a new sponsorship by Delta Airlines will boost the festival's ability to bring international companies to Dallas. Delta committed $100,000 of airline tickets over the next three seasons.
Amon Carter Museum director Rick Stewart wooed Patricia Harris away from her job as associate vice president for advancement at Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, back to Texas to serve as the Fort Worth museum's director of external operations. "We've found the perfect fit," Stewart says. "Patricia combines strong development skills and a law degree with her love for art and experience in nonprofit operations." Harris will handle fund-raising for the Amon Carter, including management of the capital campaign during the museum's two-year renovation. The Amon Carter closed August 1 and will reopen in fall 2001.
— Annabelle Massey Helber