Dale Ricardo Shields

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Dale Ricardo Shields
Dale Ricardo Shields

(1952-11-04) November 4, 1952 (age 70)
Cleveland, Ohio, United States
EducationOhio University (BFA)
Ohio University (MFA)

Dale Ricardo Shields is an African American actor, director, producer, and educator.[1] He is one of ten teachers nationwide who received the 2017 The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Award,[2] and also received the 2017 AUDELCO/"VIV" Special Achievement Award.[3][4][5]

Early life[edit]

Shields is the youngest of two sons of Claude Lee and Fannie Lousie Shields. His grandfather and father were founding members of the Shields Brother Gospel Quartet of Ohio and his mother was a member of the Turner Gospel Singers directed by the gospel artist, Arthur Turner.[6] Don King is Shields' oldest living relative (cousin). King's mother and Shields' grandmother were sisters. Dale graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in 1970 and holds BFA (1975) and MFA (1995) summa cum laude degrees from Ohio University.[7][4]

He is an Inductee of the Phi Kappa Phi (Honor Society Fraternity), In Honor of Ancestral Sacrifices award (Ohio University), The Certificate of Merit (The National Exchange Club of Cleveland), and The George E, Mills Hall of Excellence (John F. Kennedy High School).[citation needed]


Shields' professional credits as a director, stage manager, and actor (Broadway, Off-Broadway, Off-Off-Broadway, and Regional) include projects and assignments at Lincoln Center (State Theatre), The Henry Street Settlement House (New Federal Theatre), The Negro Ensemble Company, The Joseph Papp Public Theatre (New York Shakespeare Festival) and Karamu House.[8][9] Shields is on the board of directors of AUDELCO.[10]

Shields studied at The Negro Ensemble Company and The Henry Street Settlement House with Harold Scott (director) and Dick Anthony Williams.

Shields was the assistant director to Lloyd Richards for the New Federal Theatre premiere production of Ossie Davis' play A Last Dance With Sybil starring Ruby Dee and Earl Hyman. His TV acting credits include The Cosby Show, Another World, Guiding Light, Saturday Night Live, and the ITV television series Special Needs.[11] In 2001, Shields directed and choreographed a production of the Ntozake Shange play For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf which featured the young Danai Gurira, then a senior at Macalester College.[9] In 2015, Shields directed the staged reading of HOME by Samm-Art Williams at the Karamu House Jelliffe Theatre. The production featured James Pickens, Jr., Nina Domingue and Mariama Whyte.[12]

Shields appeared as Martin in the New York City revival of Stephen Sondheim's Any One Can Whistle at the York Theatre Company,[13] directed by Fran Soeder and in the Lincoln Center world premiere of Lily based on Saul Bellow's Henderson the Rain King. directed by Tom O' Horgan at Lincoln Center (State Theatre).[14] Shields has also appeared in various commercials and film.[11]

For theatrical director/producer Joseph Papp, he conducted workshops at The Public Theatre (New York Shakespeare Festival) with the Playwriting in the Schools Program (PITS) for six seasons.

During his six-year teaching tenure at The Public Theatre, he represented the United States of America at the ASSITEJ Theatre Festival in London, England in 1988.

In recognition of his outstanding career, Shields received the Special Achievement Award at the 45th Annual Vivian Robinson AUDELCO Recognition Awards event in 2017.[3][4] In 2020 and 2021, Dale received the Actors Fund / Encore Award.[15] In September, 2022, Shields received the Ebony Bobcat Network (EBN) Legend Award from Ohio University.[16]


As a University Professor, Shields has received two Outstanding Professor Awards and three Educational Program of the Year awards. In 2015, Shields was nominated for the inaugural "Excellence in Theatre Education Award". This award is a collaboration between the Tony Award and Carnegie Mellon University. The award recognizes a K-12 theatre educator "who has demonstrated monumental impact on the lives of students and who embodies the highest standards of the profession."[17]

Shields has taught at Ohio University, The College of Wooster, Denison University, Macalester College, Susquehanna University artist-in-residence, and SUNY Potsdam. He teaches courses in acting, directing, Black theatre history, and stage management.[18][19]

In 2009, Shields created the Black history website iforcolor.org.[20]


  1. ^ "'Hungry Ones' to Bow (Published 1971)". The New York Times. 1971-05-01. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  2. ^ "The Kennedy Center/Stephen Sondheim Inspirational Teacher Awards". The Kennedy Center. March 22, 2017. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  3. ^ a b Hill, Anthony D.; Barnett, Douglas Q. (December 4, 2008). Historical Dictionary of African American Theater. Scarecrow Press. p. 603. ISBN 9781538117293. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  4. ^ a b c "2017 Winners | Audience Development Committee, Inc". 22 November 2017. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  5. ^ Armstrong, Linda (2017-12-29). "The 45th annual VIV Awards celebrated Black theater". New York Amsterdam News. Retrieved 26 February 2021.
  6. ^ "Walk of Fame". GMHS. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  7. ^ "School of Dance, Film, and Theater Alumni: Class Notes (Summer 2018)". Ohio University. 5 July 2018. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  8. ^ "Dale Ricardo Shields theatre profile". www.abouttheartists.com. Retrieved 2021-02-26.
  9. ^ a b Preston, Rohan (March 15, 2018). "Guthrie presents 'fiercely funny' play by Minnesota-educated star of 'Black Panther'". Star Tribune. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  10. ^ "Board of Directors | Audience Development Committee, Inc". www.audelco.org. 28 March 2016. Retrieved 2016-11-01.
  11. ^ a b "2020 LoKo Artists | SUNY Potsdam". www.potsdam.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  12. ^ "FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Karamu House to Celebrate its 100th". paperzz.com. Retrieved 2022-09-12.
  13. ^ "Credits for Anyone Can Whistle (York Theatre Company Revival, 1980)". Ovrtur. Retrieved 2021-02-27.
  14. ^ "Dale Ricardo Shields Theatre Credits, News, Bio and Photos". www.broadwayworld.com. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  15. ^ "Dale Ricardo Shields". New Federal Theatre. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  16. ^ woodwara (2022-09-15). "Ebony Bobcat Network to celebrate remarkable graduates at OHIO's Black Alumni Reunion". OHIO News. Retrieved 2022-09-17.
  17. ^ "OU Theater Alumnus Earns Tony Award Nomination". WOUB Public Media. 2015-05-08. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  18. ^ "College of Wooster to Reprise Black Arts Festival after Six-Year Absence | The College of Wooster". wooster.edu. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  19. ^ "Activist-in-residence play encourages conversation on racism". The Quill. 2017-04-14. Retrieved 2021-02-25.
  20. ^ "Home". iforcolor.org.

External links[edit]