Trish Clark named interim director of Woodford Theatre

November 29, 2012 

Trish Clark, who is interim artistic and executive director of The Woodford Theatre in Versailles, and her daughter, Ellie Clark, who is a director of Project SEE Theatre in Lexington.

RICH COPLEY — rcopley@herald-leader.com

VERSAILLES — Trish Clark, a fixture in the Lexington theater community, has been named interim artistic and executive director of The Woodford Theatre.

Clark, a former drama teacher at Paul Laurence Dunbar High School in Lexington and former artistic director of the Lexington Shakespeare Festival, succeeds Steve Arnold, who left the theater in October after just over a year in the post. He had been hired to replace retiring director Beth Kirchner, who made the Versailles troupe one of the region's premier community theaters during her 16-year tenure.

Clark, 59, said the opportunity came along at a good time after her position with the University of Kentucky Opera Theatre's educational outreach programs was eliminated in a widespread round of layoffs earlier this year. She said she has not decided whether she will apply for the permanent director job at Woodford.

"They needed some immediate care, and that's what I can do," Clark said. "Being around so long, I knew I could get people together, and they've been really good about stepping up."

In two weeks, Clark has retained directors for the season's three remaining shows after The Christmas Foundling. That includes bringing Kirchner back to direct Driving Miss Daisy, Feb. 1 to 17. For April, she changed out the production of Neil Simon's God's Favorite for Simon's The Odd Couple, because she said the cost of the set for the originally scheduled play would be prohibitive. Tonda-Leah Fields will direct The Odd Couple. Retired UK theater professor James W. Rodgers will direct the season finale, The Secret Garden, May 31 to June 16.

Clark said she does not know what role she will play in selecting a 2013-14 season for the theater.

Clark's daughter, Ellie Clark, is one of three co-directors of Project SEE Theatre in Lexington.

Rich Copley, rcopley@herald-leader.com

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