It was back in 1972 that Bob Glenn’s love of Shakespeare prompted him to “perform a free, one-man version of ‘Hamlet’ at Dallas’ Fair Park.” The result was the launch of the Shakespeare Festival of Dallas that over the past 50 years became known simply as Shakespeare Dallas.
While Bob passed away in 2018, Shakespeare Dallas celebrated its 50th anniversary with a performance at Samuell-Grand Amphitheater with the most recent “Hamlet” directed by Christie Vela featuring an all-woman cast. Within that group was Karen Raehpour as Claudius, the king of Denmark.
During the run of “Hamlet,” the “Dallas Morning News” reported that “Shakespeare Dallas lost five of its eight full-time staffers over one week in late September.”
Shakespeare Dallas Executive Director and Artistic Director Raphael Parry admitted that while “the optics are not good,” there “was no major triggering event for the resignations.”
And as proof that the company was looking forward to the future, it was announced today that Raehpour has transitioned from King of Denmark to executive director of Shakespeare Dallas. She will be joining Raphael, who will continue as artistic director.
According to Raphael, “I am excited to partner with Karen to continue serving Shakespeare Dallas by providing the highest quality programming with Shakespeare as our cornerstone. Karen’s appointment to executive director will allow me to focus on the artistic aspects of our company, which I look forward to.”
In addition to her acting chops and a theater degree from Northwestern University, Karen’s business background includes 25 years of business management experience, with her most recent position being managing partner of RK Meetings and Events, which put on 2015-2017 Le Dîner en Blanc.
Shakespeare Dallas Board Chair Lauren York explained, “Karen has impressive business acumen and a track record of leading successful teams. We are excited to see what new heights Shakespeare Dallas will reach under Karen’s leadership as we enter the next 50 years as a company.”
Karen will officially take over her new position on Monday, November 14.