After a year as director of the School of Theatre and Dance, Dale Rose announced two weeks ago that he is leaving this August. The decision, he said, has to do with who he is as a person.
“It’s difficult; I ask myself (why I’m leaving),” he said. “I need to have some creative work in my life, too.”
Rose began reflecting in January, he said, wanting to “balance my responsibility to the school and myself.”
“It is important to be on the ground floor with the faculty, hands on,” he said. “The demands of this position were not going to allow the approach that I felt should happen.”
He said even the dean of the School of Theatre and Dance, Ron Jones, was surprised to learn Rose was leaving.
“He thought it might have been another problem,” Rose said. “It may reflect badly on me; I hope not. I talked to faculty and there is support for what I am doing in my life, and disappointment.”
Associate Dean of Theatre and Dance Barton Lee spent three years as director of the department prior to becoming dean and said that whether the job is creatively fulfilling “depends on how you individually define creativity.”
“I don’t think any of us expected him to leave,” Lee said.
“People in administrative positions, such as director, can shape new programs and curriculum to be creative,” Lee said.
“If someone didn’t use their creative abilities in that job, they’d be a manager, certainly not a director,” he said.
Rose hadn’t been with the department long enough to show whether his work would be creatively fruitful, Lee said. One of the projects Rose began work on was a physical theater MFA program. The search for a head of that department has been put on hold while a search begins for Rose’s replacement.
Last spring, the department began the process of searching for a new director that ended with Rose. They received about 60 to 80 applicants last year, which they narrowed down to three who would visit the school for interviews.
“It is a very strict process,” Lee said, explaining that each department follows the same process when hiring for the position. A search committee has been formed since Rose announced his resignation two weeks ago, which Lee said is a quick turnaround. The committee consists of both dance and theater faculty as well as one student from dance and another from theater.
After finishing out the year, Rose will begin his new job as director of performance of the University of Connecticut’s theater department, he said. Until then he will be “helping dialogue with the focus and direction of uniting the programs” of theater and dance, he said. “I want to pose the possibilities that will become the next director’s dialogue.”