John Stark has deep roots at the Illinois Shakespeare Festival.
Since 1993, Stark has designed 32 productions at the festival. From shaping sets, Stark moves to shaping entire seasons at the ISF as its newly appointed artistic director.
In his early years in theater, Stark trod the boards as an actor, but soon transitioned to full-time scenic design, as well as teaching in the Illinois State University College of Fine Arts.
"I've always been interested in the whole event of theater," said the award-winning designer. "And especially the Illinois Shakespeare Festival. I think that it is exciting to be involved with this festival. It's been very important to me."
Stark has experience working in theaters around the Midwest, especially Chicago and St. Louis, and he plans on drawing from those communities for the talent he'll use at the ISF.
"There are people that I've worked with in the past that I plan on bringing in, as well as new people," Stark said. "We're always bringing in new people to the festival from across the country. I've recently traveled the country to other Shakespeare festivals and talked to and auditioned actors from those festivals. I'm very excited about drawing from those festivals."
Stark hopes to continue the recent tradition of highlighting new plays in rotation with the works of Shakespeare. The Theater For Young Audiences will also continue.
You can also listen to GLT's full interview with Stark:
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