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“For an actor, emotion is nothing more than a reflective change in the way he breathes his belief ‘in the moment’.” -me

  • Senior Artist-in-Residence and Co-Director, MFA in Performance Program

    University of Maryland

    – Present11 years

  • Freelance Photographer

    Walter Dallas Photography

    – Present11 years

    Specializing in portrait photography and industry head-shots

  • Artistic Director

    Freedom Theatre

    16 years

  • Founder and Director of the School of Theatre Arts

    University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

    9 years


  • University of Ghana

    University of Ghana

    Traditional Theatre and Dance

    Activities and Societies: Taught acting workshops focusing on Story Theatre and Improvisation

  • Yale University

    Yale University


  • Morehouse College

    Morehouse College

    BA Theatre

    Activities and Societies: Morehouse Glee Club, Morehouse-Spelman Players


Harvard University

Harvard University

Music and Theology

Activities and Societies: Organist, Vesper Services, Harvard Divinity School



“Talent hits the target no one else can hit; genius hits the target no one else can see.” – Arthur Schopenhauer

“Tension is who you think you should be. Relaxation is who you are.” -Chinese Proverb

The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which makes you lonely.
– Lorraine Hansberry

What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.”
― Maya Angelou

Steel sharpens steel.

Happiness is a decision.

Don’t stop the momentum to make your point, use your point to add momentum.

You find what happiness you bring!

“The state of your life is nothing more than a reflection of your state of mind.”

Gentility with ability.

You never miss the water till the well runs dry…

Walter Dallas assumed the artistic leadership of Philadelphia’s Freedom Theatre in 1992. He has won recognition and several awards for his work on and Off-Broadway and regionally at such theaters as the Negro Ensemble Company, American Place, Yale Rep, Crossroads, Alliance and Baltimore’s Center Stage where he was a Director Fellow for the National Endowment for the Arts. At Chicago’s Goodman Theatre he directed the critically acclaimed world premiere of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, named one of the Top Ten Best Theatre Events of 1995 by Time Magazine and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize.

Awards include an Honorary Doctorate from the University of the Arts (May 2002), a local Emmy Award (San Francisco), New York’s prestigious AUDELCO National Achievement Award for Excellence in Black Theatre, and several Bronze Jubilee Awards for Outstanding Direction. He received a Proclamation, “Walter Dallas Day” from Atlanta’s Mayor Maynard Jackson, and two Creative Genius Awards from the Atlanta Circle of Drama Critics. For his production of Having Our Say at Los Angeles’ Mark Taper Forum, he received a 1997 NAACP Theatre Award nomination for Best Director. His off-Broadway production of Moms garnered an Obie Award for its star, Clarice Taylor, and resulted in two successful national tours. His production of Desire Under the Elms at Chicago’s Court Theatre received two 2000 Black Theatre Alliance Award nominations. World premieres include works by James Baldwin, Leslie Lee, Sam Kelley, Kia Corthron, Ntozake Shange, Samm-Art Williams, Clarice Taylor, Thulani Davis, and others.

His own adaptations of the films Cooley High and Sparkle premiered at Freedom. He also premiered John Henry Redwood’s The Old Settler at the McCarter Theatre. His world-premiere production of Charles Smith’s Pudd’nhead Wilson, produced by New York’s Acting Company, enjoyed a national tour, a critically acclaimed Off-Broadway run, and earned him a 2002 AUDELCO nomination for Best Director.

Also, an award-winning playwright, his latest play, Lazarus, Unstoned, had its world premiere, to popular and critical acclaim, at Freedom Theatre in April 2002. Of his Lazarus, Unstoned, the Philadelphia Weekly theatre critic wrote: “It’s often said that the role of the director coincided with the birth of vernacular religious drama, and in Philadelphia, nobody is more adept at this style of theatre than Walter Dallas.”

Additional work with new play development has included experiences at Sundance, the O’Neill, the Public Theatre, New Dramatists, and in Africa, England, France, and Russia.

A graduate of Morehouse College and the Yale School of Drama, he also studied music and theology at Harvard University, and dance and theater in traditional African societies at the University of Ghana at Legon. He taught theatre at Antioch College and the University of California, Berkeley. He created the School of Theatre for Philadelphia’s University of the Arts in 1983. In 1992 he left to become artistic director at Freedom Theatre.

– IMDb Mini Biography By Walter Dallas



From: Walter to Dale
Dale: Sorry, I’ve been in hospital since last Friday. Hopefully, I’m going home tomorrow. I love your work and attention to detail.
I am counting on you.  


From: Dale to Walter
Dear Professor Dallas, “I Stand On Your Giant Shoulders.”  
All of this brilliance represented here is placed with Love and Respect
towards your craftsmanship, humanity, and talent.  
Thank you. 

Dale Ricardo Shields

Philadelphia International Airport.


SLIDE PRESENTATION by Dale Ricardo Shields

Dale, this has floored me, I finally get to see myself as others do. This is one of the most fabulous and moving tributes I’ve ever received. Thank you so much! – Walter Dallas    

Miles Davis – Time After Time

Source: LyricFind
Songwriters: Robert Hyman / Cyndi Lauper
Time After Time lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner Chappell Music, Inc


On this Fathers’ Day eve, I received a magnificent gift in the mail from brilliant actress and artist Eileen Ward, one of my first students at the Philadelphia College of the Performing Arts. She looked at a picture of me, age 6, on Facebook, and created one of the most endearing gifts I’ve ever received. Using charcoal and acrylic, she captured my soul and innocence in the piece of art I share with you here. “We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creators of excellence, and intelligence and skill. We can be free. We can learn to fly.” – from Jonathan Livingston Seagull. Thank you, dear Eileen. My tears of joy are still flowing.

Walter Dallas, an internationally recognized director, playwright, and educator, dies at 73 
(c) All Rights Reserved (Dale Shields)


Dale Ricardo Shields is a 2017 winner of The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award®, 2017 and 2015 Tony® award nominee for the Excellence in Theatre Education Award, the 2017 AUDELCO/"VIV" Special Achievement Award, 2020, 2021, and 2022 ENCORE AWARD / The Actors Fund and winner of the 2022.

Recently, he won the 2022 Legend Award from his alma mater Ohio University.

He is the 2021 winner of the Paul Robeson Award, presented (jointly) by the Actors Equity Association and the Actors Equity Foundation.

Research Accomplishments:
His extensive professional credits as a Director, Stage manager, and Actor (Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and Regional) As an actor he has appeared on Saturday Night Live, Another World, Guiding Light, The Cosby Show, and the ITV television series "Special Needs" and commercials and film.

Professor Shields is a member of the Actors Equity Association, Screen Actors Guild, the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists, and the American Guild of Musical Artists performance unions and an associate member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers.

He began his artistic academic career in New York City at Playwrights Horizon, The South Bronx Action Theatre, and Mind Builders, and then was invited to join the teaching staff at the Joseph Papp Public Theatre (New York Shakespeare Festival). He represented the United States for Theatre Young Audiences at the ASSITEJ Theatre Festival in London, England.

He has been a Professor and Visiting Artist at Ohio University, The College of Wooster, Denison University, Macalester College, Randolph- Macon College, Susquehanna University, and SUNY Potsdam.

He holds B.F.A and M.F.A, Degrees from Ohio University.

Website(s) [Research] [Career]