Best Theater Director - 2011
Readers' Choice: Joel Ferrell
Dallas actors don't just love working for director-choreographer Joel Ferrell, they worship the guy. With back-to-back productions this year at Dallas Theater Center, the Horton Foote play Dividing the Estate, followed by the super-sexy staging of the musical Cabaret, Ferrell, a resident artist at DTC, showed what he can do with big shows on a big stage. For the Foote, he turned the Wyly Theatre space into the crumbling mansion of a fearsome Texas family down on their finances. For Cabaret, the audience, seated at café tables with booze service, became patrons of the show's louche Kit-Kat Klub in 1930s Berlin. Able to draw career-best performances from actors and to surprise the most jaded audience members with provocative ideas, Ferrell is taking local theater in all the right directions.