In his new position, Dildine will be responsible for strategic planning, policy development, personnel and fiscal management, fundraising, public relations and marketing, according to a Sept. 1 announcement.
Mont Levy, the festival's board chairman, stated, "We conducted a nationwide search for the best person to lead the Festival into its second decade. A number of outstanding candidates emerged, but Rick Dildine's leadership, experience, enthusiasm and engaging personality made him a clear choice. We are excited to bring Rick to St. Louis, and we look forward to a long and rewarding association with him."
Dildine will assume his new responsibilities on Sept. 21.
The Festival staff has already begun planning its offering for next spring, when it will mark its 10th anniversary season with a production of Hamlet.
"The bulk of my experience has been creating large outdoor performance work, and I am thrilled to return," Dildine said. "I see a tremendous opportunity with Shakespeare Festival St. Louis to create a destination for theatregoers throughout the Midwest, and I am excited to join the team." Dildine joined About Face Theatre in June 2008. During his tenure, he partnered with the artistic director to articulate the company's vision and mission and managed the financial, development, fundraising, marketing and corporate outreach functions.
Prior to his association with About Face, Dildine worked at Brown University as producer of the Trinity Repertory New Plays Festival and as playwriting coordinator, working closely with Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel. Dildine also was associated for seven years with Stephen Foster Theatre in Bardstown, KY, a 50-year-old outdoor theater that attracts more than 50,000 patrons each summer.
A native of Arkansas, Dildine received a bachelor's degree in theatre arts from Ouachita University and a master of fine arts in acting from Brown University.
Shakespeare Festival St. Louis "is dedicated to producing socially, economically and culturally accessible classic theatre, to building community through performance, and to engaging students of all ages in the exploration of the works and world of William Shakespeare." Since its inception in 2001, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis has exclusively produced the works of William Shakespeare both in Forest Park and through educational programs and tours at schools and community venues throughout the metro area.