Fort Worth — Big news from Stage West: Dana Schultes has been named Executive Producer, a position that had been shared by three producers since the death of Jerry Russell in 2013. This means that the Fort Worth theater has more restructuring: Mark Shum becomes Managing Director, and Jim Covault, whose retirement in September 2016 had already been announced, will help the company focus on artistic direction.
Schultes has been performing with Stage West since 1997 when she was a student at Texas Wesleyan University, and has worked in various capacities since, including director and actor.
When not acting on stage, she helped move scenery and swept the stage after each performance. Over the next seven years, Schultes served as actress, stage manager, assistant stage manager, stage-hand, sound designer, and volunteer. In 2004 she was offered a staff position as Development Director. Under that title, Schultes oversaw all fundraising, including a major capital campaign that moved the company back into their current home on Vickery Blvd. Stage West had occupied the space previously between 1981-1991. Since 2004, Schultes has helped the company raise more than $3 million for programming, general operations and other improvements.
“The board was delighted with the 18-month process that led to the reorganization and the choice of Dana as our new executive producer,” says Bronson Davis, president of the board. “During the last five years Stage West has doubled its annual income and nearly doubled its number of stage offerings. In addition, it has a robust education program for young children, and has important programs that encourage the development of local and regional theater talent such as its Southwest Playwriting Competition, Festival of the Kid, Neighborhood Play Contest, Summer Conservatory, among others. Dana helped create and secure funding for all of these programs and more. As a result, she was a natural choice for the top job. She is already knee-deep in planning our 38th season while making sure the 37th ends well.”
This also makes her one of the newest women leaders of a professional theater in North Texas. With that distinction, she joins Dallas Children's Theater (Robyn Flatt), Amphibian Stage Productions (Kathleen Culebro), Circle Theatre (Rose Pearson), Kitchen Dog Theater (Tina Parker, who shares leadership with Christopher Carlos), and Undermain Theatre (Katherine Owens).