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Maverick Heading Out

Theater director Richard St. Peter moves to Kentucky.

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But after his current show closes (“Lobby Hero” at Theatre Gym), you’ll have to travel to Kentucky if you want to see this exciting young director’s work. Last week, St. Peter accepted a position as artistic director of the Actors’ Guild of Lexington. The group recently moved into the city’s new Downtown Arts Center, a $5 million project completed last year, and it had been looking for a top-flight director to lead the company into the future.

St. Peter won a Princess Grace Award in 2002, a prestigious award for emerging young theater artists, and was poised to do big things as the assistant to the artistic director at TheatreVirginia. But when that company collapsed, opportunities became limited.

“The possibility to turn TheatreVirginia around was a career-making opportunity,” says St. Peter. “But the miracles we needed didn’t materialize. It is unfortunate because when you look at theater in Richmond now, there is a big void left by TVA’s departure.”

That void will now be made bigger with St. Peter leaving, particularly given the people he is planning to lure out of town with him. Members of the jokingly named “Rick’s Repertory Company” include comic favorite Scott Wichmann and ubiquitous lighting designer Steven Koehler.

St. Peter was also one of the few directors who targeted twenty-to-thirtysomething audiences, offering hot contemporary plays like “subUrbia” or putting modern twists on classics like “The Taming of the Shrew.” St. Peter was more than just a local artist; he was a galvanizing force. His talents will be missed. S

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