The Kentucky Shakespeare board of directors announced today that Matt Wallace, former artistic associate for the organization (2001-2010) and current artistic director of Shakespeare Behind Bars, would re-join the organization as producing artistic director.
Wallace has strong ties in the local arts community. In addition to his work with Shakespeare Behind Bars, he is currently director of children’s theatre and audience development at Derby Dinner Playhouse. Wallace directed productions for Kentucky Shakespeare through the 2010 summer season (“Richard III”).
Kentucky Shakespeare produces the oldest free outdoor Shakespeare festival in the United States.
In an email sent to Shakespeare Behind Bars fans, Wallace says he will continue to be involved with Shakespeare Behind Bars with the support of the boards of both organizations. He will continue this year as a volunteer facilitator and director of the Luther Luckett Correctional Complex Program’s production of “Much Ado About Nothing,” and he will remain on the Shakespeare Behind Bars board of directors.
A Bowling Green native, Wallace holds a BFA in Regional Theatre from the Webster University Conservatory of Theatre Arts in St. Louis.
In a statement released today, former producing artistic director Curt Tofteland, who remains active with Shakespeare Behind Bars (a separate non-profit organization that broke away from Kentucky Shakespeare in 2011), voiced his support for the appointment.
“My colleague Matt Wallace brings integrity, honesty, and passion to his new role as Producing Artistic Director of Kentucky Shakespeare. There is no doubt in my mind that Matt will return Kentucky Shakespeare to the success and respect it has enjoyed in the greater Louisville arts community,” says Tofteland.
Kentucky Shakespeare announced the resignation of former producing artistic director Brantley Dunaway on July 15. Dunaway’s production of “Twelfth Night” was abruptly canceled when Madison Dunaway, the star of the show, resigned after receiving an emergency protective order against Brantley Dunaway following allegations of domestice abuse. WFPL then discovered that Brantley Dunaway’s tenure at the helm of Kentucky Shakespeare had been fraught with employee-related tension, including allegations of abuse and financial misconduct.
You can find all of WFPL’s past coverage of the Kentucky Shakespeare situation here.