Jim Covault plans to step down as co-producer and artistic director of Stage West, the Fort Worth organization announced on Tuesday.
Covault will relinquish his administrative duties at the end of September 2016, shortly after the close of the company’s 37th season. But he will remain as an artistic associate, directing and acting as needed, according to a news release.
“Jim Covault has been a pillar of Stage West almost since the company’s beginnings in a sandwich shop 35 years ago,” said Bronson Davis, Stage West board president.
“He has been an artistic force, working closely with founder Jerry Russell and now Dana Schultes, to bring to Fort Worth a rich variety of wonderful productions,” said Davis.
Covault began his association with Stage West in summer 1980 and has subsequently directed and appeared in numerous productions. He is credited for much of the organization’s graphic design while managing the theatre’s marketing and designing sets and costumes for several productions.
In addition to his portraying several roles, he has directed shows such as The Explorers Club, Beyond Therapy, She Loves Me, The Clean House, The Miser, The 39 Steps, The Skin of Our Teeth and The Real Thing.
Since the company’s return to its present location on West Vickery Boulevard and Covault’s role as artistic director, Stage West’s budget has more than doubled, noted Davis, adding that Covault has made the character Jeeves synonymous with Stage West. He also played several singular roles such as Mark Rothko, Lyndon B. Johnson, Alan Turing and Aunt Augusta (Travels with My Aunt).
“We are especially delighted that though retiring from his administrative roles he will still be associated artistically with the company,” Davis said.
Stage West is a professional theater company operating under agreement with Actors’ Equity Association, a professional union of theatrical actors and stage managers. For more than 37 years, it has produced 265 shows, including 244 plays and 21 musicals.