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The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 18.0822 Wednesday, 19 December 2007
Date: Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Subject: New Managing Director at American Shakespeare Center
The News Leader
"New managing director starts fresh chapter at American Shakespeare Center"
By Nicole Barbano/staff
STAUNTON - David Dreyfoos has come a long way from the seat beside his
grandmother's piano in his native Cincinnati, Ohio. Growing up, a young
Dreyfoos was enchanted by the Broadway show tunes he heard. They
conjured up images of far-off theaters and scenarios being played out on
distant stages, but the energy the songs emitted remained close.
"It was so palpable," said Dreyfoos, laying his hands against his heart.
He began to write plays for the neighborhood kids to perform in his
He auditioned in high school for all the productions he could take on.
And now, on Jan. 21, Dreyfoos will step in as the new managing director
for the American Shakespeare Center, and the theatrical
jack-of-all-trades said that he feels he has arrived at the start of a
new life chapter.
"I feel like I'm just coming home," he said.
Throughout the years, Dreyfoos has run concession stands and overseen
prop and costume shops at theaters. He was even, at one time, a wig master.
But most recently Dreyfoos served as the producing director for the
Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Ore., overseeing $6 million of
the festival's $26 million budget and producing dozens of shows during
his 10-year tenure there.
"I've sort of prided myself in doing as many different things as I could
do," Dreyfoos said in an interview Tuesday at ASC's office on East
Until this point, Dreyfoos has immersed himself in the creative side of
theater, working first-hand with casts and crews. His new position will
take Dreyfoos over to the management side of theater, working closely
with administrators and ASC's artistic and founding directors, Jim
Warren and Ralph Cohen respectively, to oversee the day-to-day
operations that an organization like ASC must maintain to run smoothly.
"As I was thinking about what I wanted in the next phase of my life,
this came along, and I thought, 'You know, maybe I should look at
expanding my horizons,'" he said. "It's a phenomenal opportunity."
In his new position, Dreyfoos will be working for ASC as the
organization embarks on its Globe II project to plan and build a
re-creation of the second Globe Theatre in Staunton.
The project is set to be completed by 2014, the 400th anniversary of the
rebuilding of the Globe in London after a fire destroyed the original
Dreyfoos also will be involved in smaller, ongoing projects such as Web
site development, budget maintenance and the development of new
"There are many things that we need to be doing as an organization to
continue to grow, and David will have his hands in every one of those,"
said Dan Layman, chairman of ASC's board of directors and a member of
the selection committee that chose Dreyfoos from dozens of applicants.
In addition to his work with individual theater organizations over the
years, Dreyfoos also has worked closely with the Shakespeare Theatre
Association of America, a national forum and advocacy group for theaters
that focus on performing Shakespeare's plays.
He served as the association's president in 2005 and 2006 and is now the
"One thing that was important to us was the breadth of David's
experience within the Shakespeare community within America," said
Layman. "He is known and respected by everyone who is in that community."
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