Fort Worth — Jim Covault, the co-Producer and Artistic Director of Stage West, will retire at the end of the 2015-16 season. Covault, who has been involved with the Fort Worth theater since the end of its first season in 1980, was named Artistic Director when founder Jerry Russell retired, and has a long history of performing, directing and designing at the theater. He is perhaps best known for playing the butler Jeeves in the series of Mark Richard adaptations of the P.G. Wodehouse stories.
There has not been an announcement of who will take his place at Fort Worth's largest Equity Small Professional Theatre, although it would seem that his co-producer Dana Schultes (and development director) would be in the running for that job. Covault says that the board will decide on a new management structure that will be announced closer to his retirement next year.
Covault will become an artistic associate after retirement, and continue to direct and act as needed.
Here is the the complete Stage West news release:
Stage West is announcing the 2016 retirement of Co-Producer and Artistic Director Jim Covault. Covault will step down from his administrative duties at the end of September, 2016, shortly after the close of the 37th season. He will continue, however, as an artistic associate for Stage West, directing and acting as needed.
Covault began his association with Stage West in the summer of 1980, directing and appearing in numerous productions over the years. He has been responsible for much of the graphic design of the organization, managed the theatre’s marketing, and has designed sets and costume for many shows. In addition to his many memorable roles, he has directed such shows as The Explorers Club, Beyond Therapy, She Loves Me, The Clean House, The Miser, The 39 Steps, The Skin of Our Teeth, and The Real Thing.
Stage West Board of Directors President Bronson Davis said, “Jim Covault has been a pillar of Stage West almost since the company's beginnings in a sandwich shop 35 years ago. He has been an artistic force, working closely with founder Jerry Russell and now Dana Schultes to bring to Fort Worth a rich variety of wonderful productions. Since the company's return to its present location on West Vickery and Jim's role as artistic director, Stage West's budget has more than doubled. He has made the character Jeeves synonymous with Stage West, and played a wide variety of other singular roles such as Mark Rothko, Lyndon B. Johnson, Alan Turing, and Aunt Augusta (Travels with My Aunt). We are especially delighted that though retiring from his administrative roles he will still be associated artistically with the company.”