Fort Worth theater's first artistic director steps down after 3 seasons

January 11,2021

See full CultureMap article by Lindsey Wilson here.

Almost exactly three years after Circle Theatre announced the hiring of its first artistic director, the company is announcing his resignation.

Matthew Gray is leaving the Fort Worth theater after three seasons to become a creative producer at AMP Creative in Dallas.

"2020 proved to be trying in ways we all could never have imagined, and I feel like stepping away relieves a burden for me and the theater," Gray says in a press release. "I do not take the decision lightly and would not leave unless I truly believed that it is the best thing for myself, my family, and the theater. Which I do." 

Gray directed multiple productions during his time at Circle, including ​Our Town, A 3-D Adventure​, and a digital production of George Orwell's ​1984​. In January of 2020, Gray performed the lead role in ​One Man, Two Guvnors —​ Circle's last live production before the COVID-19 shutdown.

The theater will seek a replacement once Circle returns to producing live shows again, hopefully in 2021, the release notes. In the interim, executive director Tim Long will fulfill the duties. 

"​I am proud of my three seasons at Circle," continues Gray. "I have helped reshape the theater in what I hope are positive ways. I hope that I am leaving Circle as good, if not better, than when I came to it. Circle certainly has left me much better than when she found me.​"

An email sent to subscribers from Long states that "The Circle team wishes Mr. Gray all the best in his future endeavors and looks forward to working with him on future projects, including the 2021 High School Playwriting Project."

This year, the HSPP is open to all high school students in Dallas-Fort Worth. More information on submissions, which are now open, can be found here.

Started in 1981 by late founders Rose Pearson and Bill Newberry, Circle Theatre presents professional, contemporary plays in an intimate setting in downtown Fort Worth.

Location Mentioned: Circle Theatre