Walter Dallas, the longtime artistic director at Freedom Theatre (1346 N. Broad) announced late Thursday night that he would leave the famed African-American theater June 1 after 15 years there.
“This is a perfect time for me to move on," Dallas said in a statement. "Freedom Theatre has made significant strides towards overcoming many of its severe financial challenges including debt related to the construction of the John E. Allen, Jr. Theatre...This exciting turnaround period, including my departure, provides an ideal opportunity for Freedom to take a strategic look inward, clarify its institutional vision moving forward, and to find leadership who can help shepherd it toward that collective vision,” Dallas said. “I look at this moment as the commencement of opportunity and discovery.”
Dallas, a graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, was based in New York when he accepted the invitation to come to Philadelphia in 1983 to create the School of Theatre for the University of the Arts. He got involved with Freedom Theatre and John Allen Jr., Freedom’s founding Artistic Director. Under Dallas, Freedom has worked with playwrights and artists including James Baldwin, Denzel Washington, August Wilson, Sonia Sanchez, Grover Washington, Jr. and Glynn Turman.