In Memoriam

Fort Worth theater founder Rose Pearson passes away at 69

Fort Worth theater founder Rose Pearson passes away at 69

Rose Pearson and Bill Newberry of Circle Theatre
Circle Theatre co-founders Rose Pearson and Bill Newberry. Photo by Robert Hart/TheaterJones

Rose Pearson, the co-founder of Fort Worth's Circle Theatre, has passed away at the age of 69. According to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, the cause of death was cancer.

Pearson and her husband, Bill Newberry, founded Circle Theatre in 1981, originally opening on Bluebonnet Circle. The theater later moved to Magnolia Avenue, before reaching its current home in Sundance Square.

According to a release from Circle Theatre, Pearson was instrumental in leading Circle's mission of presenting innovative theater in an intimate setting. In addition to her work with Circle, Pearson, who was born in 1947, worked and studied in Paris, London, and Lisbon. She also freelanced as a copywriter and acted in radio, television, and film.

Circle Theatre is currently in the midst of its 35th anniversary season, with Lauren Gunderson's The Taming opening this weekend. The theater will dim its lights at 7:45 before tonight's performance in honor of Pearson.

A celebration of Pearson's life will take place at Circle Theatre on a to-be-determined date. In lieu of flowers, her family asks that donations be made to Circle Theatre in Pearson’s name.