MONTGOMERY, ALA.: Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) has appointed a new artistic director. Rick Dildine is the fourth person to fill the leadership role in the company’s 45-year history. Dildine replaces Geoffrey Sherman, who retired on July 14 after leading the organization for the past 12 years.
“A son of the South, Rick Dildine understands and appreciates what a unique treasure the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is to Montgomery, to the River Region, to Alabama and to the Southeast,” said board chairman Dr. Laurie Weil in the statement. “With his vision and innovative spirit, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival is well-positioned to take a dynamic leap forward in the years ahead.”
Prior to his arrival in Montgomery, Dildine served as the artistic director and executive director of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. The organization increased its attendance and contributed revenue during his 8-year tenure. Under his leadership, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis also received the Arts Organization of the Year award in 2017, the 2016 Excellence in the Arts Award from the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis, and the Exemplary Community Achievement Award in 2012. He developed educational and community initiatives, including the “Shakespeare in the Streets” program and a partnership with Mosanto to provide a “Rural Education Tour” to present performances to under-served communities in Missouri and Illinois.
Dildine also served for six months as executive director and president of Shakespeare & Company in Lennox, Mass.