- Lauren Smart, D Magazine

If you’ve seen a local play in Dallas, you’ve likely seen the shadow of Bruce Coleman.


Bruce R. Coleman was one of the artists who made Dallas theater run. His work as a director, costume and scenery designer, and playwright was nearly ubiquitous on stages throughout the city. He died of a heart attack Tuesday, August 15. He was 62.

Coleman’s family moved to North Texas from Kansas when he was in high school. After earning a BFA in theater from Midwestern State, he returned to Dallas and stayed. He taught theater classes at MacArthur High School in Irving, Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual and Performing Arts and for the Kim Dawson Agency.

Although his credits include Uptown Players, Pocket Sandwich Theatre, and Shakespeare Dallas, much of his career revolved around Theatre Three, where he worked on and off for 20 years under the tutelage of the company’s founder and longtime artistic director, Jac Alder. Coleman started as an intern there in 1985, making his debut as a professional director and costume designer, and later a playwright. When Alder died in 2015, Coleman was the natural choice to serve as Theatre Three’s interim artistic director, a role he held from 2015 to 2017.

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