Tom Ridgely has led the St. Louis Shakespeare Festival since 2018. A Drama Desk-nominated director, he has developed or presented work at the Public Theater, The Old Globe, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Society, Red Bull and more. He’s worked with Tony nominees Sting, Sherie Rene Scott, Laura Osnes, Will Swenson, Kelli O’Hara, Bill Irwin and others, and his productions have won DFW Theater Critics Forum and ECNY Awards and been nominated for CT Critics Circle and BroadwayWorld Connecticut Awards. He also co-founded Waterwell in New York and served as its Artistic Director from 2002-2018. There he created and produced more than a dozen world-premieres and adaptations of classics that were nominated for three IT awards, a Drama Desk, a New York Magazine Culture Award and a Village Voice “Best of NYC”. Known for building innovative community partnerships, he most recently resurrected the lost WWII-era Frank Loesser musicals, Blueprint Specials, featuring Broadway and military veterans and presented on board the former USS Intrepid aircraft carrier, as well as adapting and directing Waterwell’s dual-language (English/Farsi) version of Hamlet, designed and performed by a company of predominantly Middle Eastern and South Asian artists. As Artistic Director of Waterwell, he also oversaw the Waterwell Drama Program at the Professional Performing Arts School, one of the preeminent training grounds for young artists and innovators in the country, which offers daily, year-round, conservatory-style classes to more than 200 New York City public school students absolutely free of charge.