Rick Dildine to Direct 2013 Shakespeare Festival's TWELFTH NIGHT
Rick Dildine, Executive Director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, will direct this year's production of "Twelfth Night," it was announced today. The show will be presented from May 24 to June 16 at Shakespeare Glen in Forest Park.
Three years after taking the helm of the city's premier classical outdoor theater he has jettisoned the Bard's works, literally, throughout the streets of St. Louis with the launching last spring of the highly innovative Shakespeare in the Streets, and the annual urban reading of Shakespeare's work, Shake 38. Dildine, is looking forward to his dual role of directing this year's performance and continuing to oversee the organization, which has experienced record attendance in the park the past three years.
"'Twelfth Night' has always been one of my favorite Shakespeare plays because of its humor, raucousness and fun," Dildine said. "Ultimately, it's a story about love. And Forest Park always provides us the opportunity to engage nature in a unique way, and I hope to highlight that in this production, which will take on more of a classical approach."
Believed to have been written in approximately 1602, 'Twelfth Night' centers on Viola, who after a shipwreck, is separated from her twin brother and washed ashore on an island known as Illyria. In order to survive she masquerades as a young male page and enters into the service of the Duke Orsino who is madly in love with the Lady Olivia. Orsino sends Viola to woo Olivia for him; however, Olivia quickly falls in love with the disguised Viola. Believed to be written as part of the traditional Twelfth Night celebrations as a close to the Christmas holiday, "Twelfth Night" is one of Shakespeare's most beloved comedies.
Dildine has some directorial surprises in mind for the audience. "Because the play is rooted in an historical holiday that was about revelry and food, I hope to bring that same energy to the experience of watching the show by creating the holiday of "Twelfth Night" every single night in the park. The entire evening will be engaging from arrival to departure."
Dildine will be joined by a creative team whose members are St. Louis-based. Dottie Marshall Englis will be returning as costume designer, a position she held for the festival during productions of "Romeo and Juliet," "Julius Caesar," and "Hamlet." Englis was a 2008 Kevin Kline winner for Outstanding Costume Design for her work in "A Little Night Music" (Stages/St. Louis). She is Chair of the Conservatory of Theatre Arts at Webster University. Scott Neale will be creating the classical set for this year's production. Neale was most recently nominated for a Kevin Kline Award for his 1950s-style set design for the festival's production of "The Taming of the Shrew" in 2011. Neale has designed for Steppenwolf Theatre Company (in Chicago), Off Broadway, and the Galway Theatre Festival, Lookingglass Theatre Company, The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Upstream Theater and various others.
John Wylie, who has provided lighting design for many of the past SFSTL seasons including last year's "Othello," will be joining the team as well. Wylie, who is Head of Production Programs at Webster University, has designed for The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Opera Theatre Saint Louis, the St. Louis Black Rep and Metro Theatre Company, among others. Rusty Wandall, resident sound designer at the Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, will be returning to the festival this year. Recent designs include: Kevin Kline Award nominations "Race" and "Circle Mirror Transformation," A Steady Rain," and "The Comedy of Errors."
Prior to joining SFSTL in 2009, Dildine served as Managing Director of Chicago's About Face Theatre, whose work has been recognized with the Pulitzer Prize and the Tony Award. Before About Face, he was associated for seven years (five years as Artistic Director) with the Stephen Foster Theatre, a 50-year-old outdoor theater company in Kentucky. During his tenure, the theater retired all debt, increased attendance by 15 percent and added two new performance spaces. Simultaneously, from 2006-08, Dildine was the Producer of the Brown University/Trinity Rep New Plays Festival and Playwriting Coordinator for the graduate playwriting program at Brown University, all under the leadership of Pulitzer Prize-winner Paula Vogel. Dildine is a past recipient of the national directing Fellowship from the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, has served on the Arts & Cultural Advisory Council for the Chicago 2016 Bid for the Olympics, and was a U.S. delegate to the World Theatre Congress in China in 2011. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the Greater St. Louis Arts & Education Council. In August 2011, Dildine took over as director of the MFA Arts Management & Leadership program at Webster University.
In the past 12 years, the Shakespeare Festival has attracted more than 550,000 people to the performances in Forest Park. The organization has reached an additional 200,000 students through its educational touring productions, school program, summer camps and community partnerships. For more information, please visit www.sfstl.com or call 314/531-9800.
KINKY BOOTS vs. MATILDA for Best Musical and More...