When word spread earlier this month that Jim DePriest had died at 79 there were those in the Sonoma County theater community who expressed more than just shock and sadness. To many, the tireless actor and director had given the impression that he might never die, so relentless was his commitment to local theater.
“It’s just so sad,” says Diane Bailey, a longtime collaborator of DePriest’s from back in the days when the Sonoma County Repertory Theater ran two theaters, one in Sebastopol (where Main Stage West now operates) and the other in downtown Santa Rosa, now business offices.
“Jim loved theater so much,” says Bailey, who has relocated back to Sebastopol after founding Theater Anew in San Francisco, “and Jim’s love of this art form was truly inspiring to many, many local theater artists. He changed our lives.”
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