Many professions are about forming relationships — some necessary, some welcomed — and when someone clicks with you personally, it makes your job all that much better. In the nearly five years I’ve known Heather Kitchen, she’s been one of the best working relationships I’ve encountered. From the first day we met, she’s greeted me with “Hey, Arnie!” every time she sees me. She has that familiar, dare I say motherly, aura, the kind that makes you feel like you’ve made her day better when in fact it is she who has improved yours.
Since 2011, she’s led the business side of the Dallas Theater Center as its managing director, giving the support that artistic director Kevin Moriarty has needed to make exciting theater and revitalize the 55-year-old institution. By keeping it in the black — and always with a smile — she’s actually contributed to the artistry, and more importantly, the tone of theater in all of North Texas.
So her decision to retire — at 62, she’s been involved in arts administration for 40 years — just as the DTC begins its new season is a personal loss as well as a professional one. She’ll stay on until her successor is found (probably early 2015), but whoever it will be could never replace Heather. She’s someone I’ll miss.