Alabama Shakespeare Festival artistic director Kent Thompson renewed his contract in November, agreeing to stay on another three seasons.
Thompson, recently elected president of Theatre Communications Group, is entering his 10th season as artistic director of the Montgomery-based ASF.
In 1998, Thompson revived the atrophied touring arm of the ASF, taking his 1950s-set The Taming of the Shrew to 11 states. In 1991 he started the Southern Writers' Project (SWP), a play-commissioning and development program intended to explore the South's diverse cultural heritage. The most prominent work to emerge from SWP has been Keith Glover's Thunder Knocking on the Door: A Blusical Tale of Rhythm and the Blues, which has played regional theatres throughout the country. That play won the 1997 Osborne Award (for an emerging voice) from the American Theatre Critics Association.
Thompson directs the current production of A.A. Milne's Toad of Toad Hall (through Dec. 31) and the 1999 repertory season production of Richard III, April 2-July 24.
-- By Kenneth Jones