Rick Snyderjoined the Theatre of Western Springs as the new artistic director in February, 2012. He takes the reins from Kurt Naebig who left TWS due to conflicts with films and other external work. While we’re sad to say good-bye to Kurt, we welcome Rick with great anticipation.
His name may sound familiar, because in 2010 he was the guest director for the TWS production of Cadillac, a play that was extremely well received. You also may have heard of him in relation to Steppenwolf Theatre Company where Rick is a 30-year ensemble member.
Rick lives in Wheaton, is married and has two sons. His first play was the TWS production of The Devil’s Disciple in April. He also conducted our annual "casting call" Studio, the 10-session class for adults (age 18 and up) who wish to join the TWS acting company.
“Rick Snyder brings a lot to the table,” said TWS Managing Director Bill Hammack. “He is a known commodity at TWS having been a guest director here and having conducted acting workshops. He has received rave reviews from everyone who worked with him, and he relates well to our members. It also doesn’t hurt that he is an established actor and director with an outstanding reputation in the Chicago theatre community.”
Chicago directing credits include many plays at Steppenwolf including Art, Betrayal, Last of the Boys, Tavern Story, The Fall to Earth, Things Being What They Are, and Orange Flower Water which received critical and audience acclaim both in the Steppenwolf Garage and at the Galway Arts Festival, Ireland.
|Rick Snyder as he appeared in the Steppenwolf Theatre production of "The Man From Nebraska "
Rick recently directed God of Carnage, The Actor, The Disappearance of the Jews and Jolly at the
Goodman Theatre, as well as appearing as Ebenezer Scrooge in that theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol. He won a Jeff Award for his direction of Killer Joe at Profiles Theatre. He also directed Reasons to be Pretty and Men of Tortuga at Profiles Theatre; Mauritiusat Northlight Theatre; The Lion in Winter and Bus Stop at Writers' Theatre; Aristocrats at Strawdog Theatre Company; and Oleanna, Speed the Plow and St. Scarlet at the American Theater Company.
As an actor, Rick has appeared in The Unmentionables and August: Osage County which later moved to New York and won a Tony Award and the Pulitzer Prize. His film and television credits include Early Edition, The Untouchables, Chicago Hope, The Tuskegee Airmen, Alien Nation Millennium, The Net, Whiteboys, Soul Survivors, The Human Stain and U.S. Marshals.
“Actors here at TWS like a challenge,” Bill Hammack said. “They don’t want to settle for a mediocre performance, and they like to be stretched. Rick raises the bar. He has proven that he can make actors work at their potential, and that’s a good thing for our actors as well as our audience. Rick has demonstrated that he can take our performances to a new level.”
“My goal is to maintain and further the wonderful enthusiasm that is already so much a part of TWS,” Rick said. “At the same time, I hope to generate interest and excitement in new generations of actors and subscribers. The only path I know to this is to do high quality and exciting work while never forgetting that we are all here to have fun.”