Shakespeare Festival names New York theater company founder as executive producer | St. Louis Public Radio

Shakespeare Festival names New York theater company founder as executive producer

Apr 12, 2018

Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has named Tom Ridgely of New York to fill the post of  executive producer, which includes both artistic and leadership roles.

Ridgley comes to St. Louis from New York City’s Waterwell theater company, which he founded in 2002. He replaces Rick Dildine, who headed Shakespeare Festival St. Louis for eight years.

Under Ridgely’s leadership, Waterwell has developed and produced more than a dozen adaptations of classic plays. They include a dual-language “Hamlet” in English and Farsi, which involved predominantly Middle Eastern and South Asian actors and designers.

Shakespeare Festival board member Penny Pennington called Ridgely “a leader who will provide the artistic vision, entrepreneurial talent, organizational management skills and inspired drive.”

New Shakespeare Festival executive producer Tom Ridgely is a Drama Desk-nominated director, producer and educator.
Credit Shakespeare Festival St. Louis

“Tom’s expertise will ensure the Festival continues to be a key contributor to the arts in our region, as well as a catalyst and stage for viewing topics important to our community — all through the lens of performance,” Pennington said in a news release.

Shakespeare Festival’s mainstage production in Forest Park this season will be “Romeo and Juliet.” It runs from June 1-24. The festival’s “Shakespeare in the Streets” productions of “Blow, Winds” will be on stage at the St. Louis Public Library, Central Branch in downtown St. Louis, June 15-16.

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