BWW Preview: Savage Rose Names Interim Artistic Director

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BWW Preview: Savage Rose Names Interim Artistic Director

Louisville's resident classical theater company is getting a new face.

Savage Rose Classical Theater Company has announced Kelly Moore as interim artistic director following the resignation of former AD and Savage Rose founder J. Barrett Cooper. Cooper is headed west to chair the theater department at Idyllwild Arts Academy in Idyllwild, California.

"We are thankful for Barrett's leadership over the past six years," Moore said in a statement from the company. "What started as a communal desire for relevant, immediate classical theater year-round launched into a crucial stomping ground for professionally trained artists in the Louisville theater scene."

Moore has been active both behind the scenes and on stage with Savage Rose. While directing this past season's finale, "The Tempest," and appearing in such productions as 2013's "The Taming of the Shrew," she has served as the company's marketer and business associate.

Cooper founded Savage Rose in 2008 with the goal of producing the classics of the theatrical canon free of unnecessary period dressing or reinterpretation. The company has produced 21 plays spanning from 400 B.C. to the 1960s.

"The productions lend themselves to the beauty of the language, and yet they are savage," Cooper said. "I wanted there to be an element of danger, a fierceness and unpredictability to the plays.

"Furthermore, I wanted to create a company of actors," he said. "I wanted to get people involved. That's why we included the Company Members and Artistic Associates in the company's foundation."

Of Moore, Cooper said, "Kelly knows the company. Out of anybody, she's the one who knows the mindset of the company, and I think she can make strong decisions and lead it into a future incarnation."

Savage Rose's 2014 season will continue through December, beginning with its remount of the 2013 hit "The Bald Soprano," translated, adapted and directed by Company Member Tad Chitwood, Sept. 5 and 6 at The Bard's Town, followed by the Slant Culture Festival entry "The Maids" by Jean Genet, a French absurdist exploration of class and jealousy. The season wraps with the Elizabethan commedia "The Blind Beggar of Alexandria," directed by Erin Leigh Crites.

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