MONTGOMERY, ALA.: The Alabama Shakespeare Festival board of directors has announced the appointment of Todd Schmidt as the company’s new executive director. He will join artistic director Rick Dildine as co-leader of ASF, the State Theatre of Alabama.
“The board and staff of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival are delighted to welcome Todd Schmidt as our executive director, said Laurie Weil, chairman of the ASF board, in a statement. “Todd returns to his home state of Alabama with over 25 years’ experience leading the business side of not-for-profit theatres. His award-winning expertise and experience in finance, fundraising, and marketing will enable our artistic director, Rick Dildine, to work his magic on stages both within the magnificent ASF facilities and beyond its walls.”
Schmidt currently serves as managing director of Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn, N.J., where he has served for the past eight seasons. During his tenure, Paper Mill staged world premieres of Newsies, Honeymoon in Vegas, Ever After, Bandstand, The Honeymooners, The Sting, and A Bronx Tale, and the U.S. premieres of The Hunchback of Notre Dame and The Bodyguard. Paper Mill received the Regional Theater Tony Award in 2016.
Schmidt grew up in Jackson and Vestavia Hills, Ala., and graduated from Vestavia Hills High School. He received a B.S. in Business Administration from Auburn University, where he was elected student president of the School of Business. He went on to complete an MFA at the prestigious Theatre School at DePaul University.
“I am honored and excited to return to Alabama and help guide the Alabama Shakespeare Festival,” said Schmidt in a statement. “As a teenager, I vividly remember attending the Festival in Anniston, Ala. Those wonderful productions were inspirational and fueled my desire to pursue a career in theatre.”
Schmidt previously served as managing director of George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, N.J., and prior to that he was executive producer of Peninsula Players Theatre in Wisconsin, where he produced 70 plays and led the theatre through a remarkable period of growth, culminating in the opening of a state-of-the-art performance space. In Chicago Todd worked with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Goodman Theater, and Apple Tree Theatre, and he directed and produced The Woman in Black.
“Todd Schmidt has a track record as a dynamic executive leader,” said artistic director Dildine in a statement. “I am excited to partner with him as we seek to make Alabama Shakespeare Festival a vibrant, transformative theatre company where all our communities feel welcomed, engaged, entertained, and inspired.”
Schmidt will begin his new duties in June 2018.