Announcing CTC's New Artistic Director
Rick Dildine Named Next Artistic Director of Children’s Theatre Company
MINNEAPOLIS—January 10, 2024 Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) has named Rick Dildine to be their new Artistic Director. Dildine will assume the post on July 1, 2024. He replaces Peter C. Brosius, who will depart CTC on June 30, 2024 after 27 years leading the organization.
Rick Dildine is a director and producer. He became the fourth Artistic Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival (ASF) in August 2017.
“For some time, I have felt that creating art for young people is the most important task artists can undertake as they expand the scope of American theatre,” Dildine said in a statement. “I am incredibly honored that Children’s Theatre Company has given me the opportunity to do just that. Over the past few months as I have gotten to know the people and artists who shepherd CTC’s mission daily, I feel a strong connection to their values and vision to be the world’s leader in multigenerational programming. With projects that resonate locally in the Twin Cities and have had commercial success on Broadway, Children’s Theater Company is revered and highly respected for its artistry and mission. I am honored to be following in the footsteps of Peter Brosius, one of the most distinguished leaders in American theatre. For nearly three decades, he has championed rigorous, empathetic, imaginative work for audiences of all ages. I am excited and committed to continue this important work.”
Dildine currently oversees all artistic programming and sets the creative vision for ASF, one of the largest Shakespeare festivals in the country. In 2018, he launched ASF’s most significant commissioning endeavor to date with the “State of the South” tour and New Southern Canon Project. Playwrights currently under commission include Pulitzer and Tony Award-winner Robert Schenkkan, the most produced playwright in America, Lauren Gunderson, Whiting Award winner Donnetta Lavinia Grays, and Broadway playwright Mansa Ra. The resulting 22-play canon will represent the largest body of work about the South in decades.
Since joining ASF, Dildine has reinstated the repertory model, which nearly doubled the subscription base (and added a significant number of new subscribers); launched a training program for early career theatre artists; and established partnerships with the Montgomery Public Schools (90% BIPOC students), Alabama State University (HBCU), and the Equal Justice Initiative. In 2018, the late Congressman John Lewis invited ASF to perform at the Congressional Black Caucus in Washington, DC, and in 2020 Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Congressman Lewis led a delegation of 100+ Members of Congress to Montgomery to celebrate the work with young people. Under his leadership at ASF, audiences of color have grown more than 40%. For his efforts to promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in American theatre, Dildine was awarded the “Stand Out Award” from the Society of Directors & Choreographers in 2019.
Dildine’s directing credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet, The Tempest, Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, Alabama Story, The Sound of Music, Every Brilliant Thing, Steel Magnolias, Little Shop of Horrors, and Cabaret. Upcoming projects include the world premiere musical Fall of ’94 (starring Tony Award winner Alice Ripley) and the world premiere of Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder’s Zelda in the Backyard. He was a finalist for the Zelda Fichandler Award in 2019.
“As CTC proudly celebrates 27 years of exceptional multigenerational theater under the leadership of Peter Brosius, a new chapter begins with the appointment of Rick Dildine,” says Board Chair Silvia Perez. “With an impressive background and a deep passion for CTC’s mission, Dildine brings a fresh vision for the future, aiming to elevate CTC’s already esteemed national standing in multigenerational work to new heights. His remarkable background, combined with his genuine passion for our mission, make him the ideal leader to guide us into this new era. We are confident that under Rick’s direction, CTC will continue to create extraordinary theater experiences that resonate with audiences of all ages. His vision encompasses expanding upon CTC’s existing national leadership in multigenerational work, propelling the organization towards even greater levels of excellence and innovation.”
“Having undertaken an international search, we are so excited to have identified Rick Dildine as the next Artistic Director at CTC,” said Search Committee Chair Steven J. Thompson. “Rick’s experienced commitment to artistic excellence and articulated vision made him the unanimous choice of the committee.”
Before ASF, Dildine served as the Artistic Director of the Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Under his leadership, Festival attendance grew 55% and revenue grew 38%. The organization received numerous awards, including the Arts Organization of the Year from the Missouri Arts Council, the Exemplary Community Achievement Award from the Missouri Humanities Council, and the prestigious Excellence in the Arts Award from the Arts & Education Council of Greater St. Louis. Dildine was named 2014 “Theatre Artist of the Year” by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, “40 Under 40” by the St. Louis Business Journal and recognized on the city’s Power List of “100 People Who Are Reshaping the City.” He won the 2017 St. Louis Theatre Award for Best Director for his production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch named him “Best Director” for 2016-17. Dildine, recognized as a leader in community engagement, began the company’s public arts programs when he created the highly innovative “Shakespeare in the Streets” and nationally replicated “SHAKE 38.” Both programs have been featured in American Theatre Magazine as national models in community development using the performing arts. He initiated the Festival’s new works commissioning process, which has premiered works with the Grammy Award-winning Saint Louis Symphony and the Pulitzer Arts Foundation.
Dildine has held leadership positions at About Face Theatre, Shakespeare & Company, Stephen Foster Theatre (KY), and Brown University/Trinity Rep New Plays Festival under the direction of Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel. He has traveled on TCG international trips to China and Cuba and served on numerous grant panels, including the National Endowment for the Arts. He serves on the Board of Directors for Child Protect and on the National Advisory Board for the Recovery Project.
Passionate about arts education, he has taught or served on staff for Brown University, Clark University, and Webster University. At Webster, he served as Director of the MFA Arts Management & Leadership program and Adjunct Professor within its BFA Performance program. He is an alumnus and instructor of the Kennedy Center/American College Theatre Festival and is one of the national judges for the Irene Ryan Acting Award.
Dildine is a graduate of Ouachita Baptist University and Brown University/Trinity Rep with an MFA in Acting and is a proud member of AEA and SDC. Rick grew up in Wynne, Arkansas. He is represented by Charles Koppelman, A3.
Children’s Theatre Company (CTC) is the nation’s largest and most acclaimed theatre for young people and serves a multigenerational audience. It creates theatre experiences that educate, challenge, and inspire nearly 250,000 people annually. CTC is the only theatre focused on young audiences to win the Special Tony® Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre and is the only theatre in Minnesota to receive three Tony® nominations (for its production of A Year with Frog and Toad). CTC is committed to creating world-class productions at the highest level and to developing new works, more than 200 to date, dramatically changing the canon of work for young audiences.
CTC is the most significant provider of theatre education opportunities in the region. Every year, thousands of children experience theatre for the first time at CTC. Our student matinees and education programs demonstrably benefit the community, from the intergenerational conversations sparked by our world premieres, to the sequential skill-building that happens in our Theatre Arts Training, to the pre-K focus of our Early Childhood Initiative. ACT One is CTC’s comprehensive platform for access, diversity, and inclusion in our audiences, programs, staff, and board that strives to ensure the theatre is a home for all people, all families, reflective of our community.