Ferrell has been with the company since 2009, first as an artistic associate and then as associate artistic director. He’s served as director and/or choreographer for many of DTC's most celebrated productions during artistic director Kevin Moriarty's tenure.
He will step down at the end of August 2019 (the conclusion of the 2018-19 season) to "pursue new professional opportunities," according to a release. Ferrell will continue to work with the theater on a contractual basis as an associate artist, and will return to the theater to direct A Christmas Carol this winter.
"Since 2009, Joel has been an essential part of the fabric of Dallas Theater Center as a member of our artistic staff," says Moriarty. "He has been a valued collaborator, whose work at Dallas Theater Center has included directing some of the most critically lauded productions in our history, including his definitive Cabaret, Dividing the Estate, Frankenstein, and Rocky Horror Show, to name just a few. He's also served as a producer, casting director, teaching artist, and literary advisor, and he has tirelessly championed the work of local actors, designers, and directors with passion. We will miss him as a member of our full-time staff but look forward to continuing to produce his work on our stage as an Associate Artist, including his work next season as director of A Christmas Carol."
Ferrell is a former artistic director of Casa Mañana in Fort Worth and has worked extensively around the country for Denver Center Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, Papermill Playhouse, Ford's Theatre, Lyric Theater of Oklahoma, and North Shore Music Theatre, among others.
"I am very proud to have been part of Dallas Theater Center's journey over the last decade," says Ferrell. "Very few artists are fortunate enough to have an artistic home, and I'm grateful to Kevin, the board, and staff for giving me a place to work, grow, and promote the wonderful theater artists who call DFW home. I look forward to many more collaborations with my Dallas Theater Center family, as well as new opportunities, projects, and partnerships in DFW and around the country."
A search for his replacement has not been announced yet, and a representative of Dallas Theater Center confirmed that Ferrell's former role will be changing but that there are no specifics available at this time.
Dallas Theater Center's current production is Josefina Lopez's Real Women Have Curves, which is playing at the Kalita Humphreys Theater through May 19.