In this two-part interview, Thomas Riccio talks to T.J. Walsh, the artistic director at Trinity Shakespeare Festival in Fort Worth, which is in its fifth year as a professional company at Texas Christian University. The 2013 summer season opens tonight, June 13, with The Taming of the Shrew. On Friday, Julius Caesar opens, and then the shows run in rotating rep (using the same cast) in two theaters at TCU through June 30.
In the interview, they discuss Trinity's mission, the challenges of performing in rep, the concept of beauty onstage, the local theater scene and the role of critics in a world dominated by online culture.
Thomas (T.J.) Walsh is an associate professor of theater at Texas Christian University, and has directed productions in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York as well as Texas, including at Theatre Three. His Trinity Shakespeare productions have included Twelfth Night, Hamlet and As You Like It. His work for the Festival has received numerous awards including the Dallas/Fort Worth Theater Critics Forum award for Outstanding Direction. He has a Master of Fine Arts in playwriting and a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Criticism from the University of Texas at Austin where he studied with Oscar Brockett. His area of research is in the history and theory of authorship. He has performed his solo play Pleading Infinity at the New York International Fringe Festival, and his plays include a work about August Strindberg, called Born on a Sunday, which was last performed at TCU in 2012.
Riccio is a professor at the University of Texas at Dallas, a playwright, director, world traveler and theater-maker. In the spring of 2010, he wrote a series of essays for TheaterJones about his experience with making theater in Ethiopia in 2009. The first of those, which links to the others, is here. Earlier this year, he spent time in Nepal and India, areas he'll explore more in the coming years (and write about for us). In 2011, he started his own theater company, Dead White Zombies, which is currently doing a bold and tough-to-watch, but still unforgettable, production of an immersive play called T.N.B., performed in a former "drug stash" house in West Dallas, near the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge.
Click each audio link below to hear both parts of the interview. The player will open in a new window, so you can listen while you do other stuff on the Internet (preferably on our site). And if you get a message that a plug-in is needed, it's because your browser needs a Flash plug-in. (Volume varies, so you'll have to adjust accordingly.)