A long-time executive director has retired from Shakespeare Dallas.
Raphael Parry has retired from his position as an executive and artistic director at Shakespeare Dallas after 20 years of service. Parry is the longest-serving director of the theater at East Dallas’ Samuell-Grand Park.
In an email to Shakespeare Dallas email subscribers, Parry described his tenure with the theater and his work as “fulfilling and eventful.”
Shakespeare Dallas has produced 51 plays over Parry’s tenure, of which he directed 20, according to Lakewood Advocate.
Parry is also a cofounder and former co-artistic director of Undermain Theatre and the founding producer of Project X: Theatre.
“I am deeply thankful for the last twenty years,” said Parry in the email, according to Dallas Culture Map. “During this time I have been so very fortunate to produce plays, direct and act in shows, run the company, and work with some incredible talent,” he continued.
Shakespeare Dallas board president Lauren York told Dallas Culture Map that Parry’s work had “transformed” the theater and that the board would always be grateful for his contributions.
“His roots in the Dallas arts community run deep,” said York. “He took us to a new level artistically and both expanded and diversified our audience base,” she continued.
Parry was initially set to retire years prior but stayed to keep the theater sustained during the COVID-19 pandemic. The theater had, for the first time, canceled its entire summer season in a decision that did not sit well with him, according to KERA.
Parry told KERA that he intends to present an enhancement plan for Shakespeare Dallas to the city for inclusion in the next bond election before he officially retires.
“But hopefully, I am leaving the company in a strong financial situation,” said Parry, according to KERA. “And that was a goal of mine — to retire once we were financially stable and I could pass the torch on to somebody else who did not have to have some of the burdens I did,” he continued.
Parry’s tenure will officially end on March 31. Jenni Stewart will be the interim artistic director until a permanent one is selected in 2024.