Sycamore Alum Tom Ridgely Named Executive Producer of St. Louis Shakespeare Festival

Sycamore alum Tom Ridgely He has been named executive producer of Shakespeare Festival St. Louis. Encompassing both artistic and executive leadership roles, the executive producer is in charge of all things Shakespeare Festival: the annual performance in Forest Park’s Shakespeare Glen, Shakespeare in the Streets, the SHAKE 38 marathon, the new In the Works festival and a host of programs for students.

Ridgely, who will move to St. Louis in May with his wife, Jennifer Thompson, to take on the position, was chosen after a nine-month national search. He succeeds Rick Dildine, who left to become artistic director at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.
When he was fresh out of Indiana University, Ridgely and a friend headed for New York to start their own theater.

A lot of theater majors do something like that — or want to. Ridgely did better than most: Waterwell Theatre continues to produce everything from classics to site-specific new works. But now the director, 38, is taking on a bigger challenge.

“The festival board members are excited that we have found in Tom Ridgely a leader who will provide the artistic vision, entrepreneurial talent, organizational management skills and inspired drive toward innovation essential to Shakespeare Festival St. Louis’ continued growth,” said Penny Pennington, board chair for the festival. “Tom’s expertise will ensure the festival continues to be a key contributor to the arts in our region.”
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