About Face Theatre Appoints Managing Director

by Stage Directions

CHICAGO – About Face Theatre has announced that producer and director Rick Dildine has been named the new managing director of About Face Theatre. Dildine comes to About Face from Brown University, where he worked with About Face Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar and served as producer of the annual Brown University/Trinity Repertory New Plays Festival since 2006. 

“Rick has a wealth of experience behind the scenes and on stage,” says Metzgar. “As producer of the New Play Festivals at Brown University, Rick proved to be a creative visionary with excellent management skills, a rare combination. His thorough knowledge of all aspects of the production process will be a valuable asset in continuing the development of new works. I am delighted that he has agreed to join me at About Face.”

During his time at Brown University, Dildine was also playwriting coordinator for the graduate playwriting program at Brown University, under the leadership of Paula Vogel and Bonnie Metzgar.  In 2005, he was named artistic director of the venerable Stephen Foster Theater in Bardstown, Ky., after serving two years as its associate artistic director.  

“We are very fortunate to have Rick on board at About Face,” says Bill Michel, president of the About Face Theatre board of directors. “He is a gifted, multifaceted theatre professional and will be instrumental in helping us maintain the highest standard of programming.”

Dildine has produced plays with the Tony Award-winning Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island and the Orpheum Theater in Memphis, Tenn., where he assisted Tony award-winning Producer Pat Halloran.  

In 2001, Dildine received the National Directing Fellowship from the prestigious Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.  In June 2008, Dildine was recognized by the Kentucky State Senate for his contributions to the Stephen Foster Drama Association.  Born in Wynne, Ark., Dildine earned an MFA in Acting in 2006 from Brown University.

“About Face Theatre has a history of bravely pushing boundaries and developing innovative theatrical works,” says Dildine. “I look forward supporting the Theatre’s strong tradition and immersing myself in the rich arts community of Chicago.”

Dildine’s arrival coincides with the end of Heather Schmucker’s year-long term as Interim executive director.  She plans to continue to support About Face Theatre as a member of the Board of Directors.

“I am honored that Heather Schmucker has agreed to join the Board at About Face after her extraordinary years of service on staff,” says Metzgar. “Her continued leadership will be invaluable as we grow through this exciting new phase in the life of About Face Theatre.”

Schmucker began with About Face Theatre in 2000 as a stage manager for the Youth Program.  In 2001, she began working fulltime for the Theatre as producer and production manager.  In May 2007, she began a year-long term as interim executive director after the departure of Gregory Copeland.

About Face Theatre is one of Chicago's most acclaimed theatre companies, and is a national leader in the development of new work exploring gender and sexual identity. Since its founding by Kyle Hall and Eric Rosen in 1995, the company has premiered more than 30 new plays by writers and directors who have been recognized with several Tony Awards, The Pulitzer Prize for Drama, The MacArthur Fellowship and dozens of Joseph Jefferson Awards.

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For more information, please visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com