Linda was born and raised in Amarillo and says that no matter where her career took her she was always drawn back to the Texas Panhandle. Her family has been involved in the arts scene in Amarillo for more than 75 years. Her grandmother, Edna Brownie Duncan, was a celebrated artist and worked side by side with Oma Link Rowley at Amarillo Little Theatre as a scenic painter and artist. Her mother, Katharine Dee was an award winning poet. Linda remembers her early days taking dance from M. Pianowski and Art and Helen Querry, singing and dancing with her cousins at backyard parties, taking acting lessons, Dramateens, at Amarillo Little Theatre, and discovering her love for the art of figure skating. After seven years training, that love of figure skating led her to an audition in San Francisco for Shipstad and Johnson’s Ice Follies. From 1965, upon graduating from the University of Denver, until 1968, Linda traveled the United States and Canada as a professional figure skater with the Ice Follies. In 1968 she returned to Amarillo, as she says, “For just a short period of time!” She found herself really enjoying her stay and has been living in Amarillo ever since.
Linda immediately immersed herself in the arts in Amarillo by volunteering at Amarillo Little Theatre and eventually was hired as secretary and administrative assistant to Peter Fox, Executive Director of ALT. She performed in numerous productions and lists as one of her favorite roles, Marcy, the daughter of Anne B. Davis in THE NEARLYWEDS. She was a member of the ALT Board of Directors and was named Executive Director of the ALT Children’s Theatre Academy in 1979. For the next four years Linda worked with hundreds of children teaching them acting. In 1983, ALT found itself in financial difficulty and Linda was asked to start a children’s acting program at Amarillo College. In July of 1983, Linda founded and was named Executive Director of Amarillo College Theatre School for Children. She spent the next 21 years of her life working at Amarillo College, retiring from ACTS in May of 2004. During that time she was the recipient of service awards in theatre from Preston Smith, The Kennedy Foundation for her work with the Very Special Arts Programs, The Texas House of Representatives, and was named an Outstanding Woman of The Community receiving the Distinguished Service Award of 1997 given by the Women’s Forum. She has received numerous Golden Touch Awards from the Arts Committee of the Amarillo Chamber of Commerce for her work in the arts, most recently for a tour of the Texas Panhandle with the musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.”
Linda’s students are working professionally in New York City, Chicago, Dallas, Austin and national Broadway tours as actors, directors, playwrights and professional opera singers. Linda says that the nicest thing is that her students still call her when something really great happens in their careers.
Retirement opened up time for Linda to free-lance in the arts community. She was hired by Kris Miller to direct a summer youth musical and for the past nine years Linda has been Artistic Director of Civic Amarillo and Amarillo Opera Summer Youth Musical. In her career she has directed more than 100 productions and in the past nine years has directed Les Miserables, West Side Story, Beauty and the Beast, Oliver, Fiddler on the Roof , Annie, Big River and a second production of Les Miserables. She has been Acting Coach for the Lone Star Ballet Nutcracker and is founder and primary instructor for Sunday Sessions: An Actor’s Intensive offered through Amarillo Opera. Linda has designed scenery for Amarillo Opera, Civic Amarillo and Amarillo College Theatre School for Children. Linda was Assistant Director for Odyssey, the opening performance in the Globe News Center for the Performing Arts. She is also Production Manager for Amarillo Opera Summer Camp.
She spends her spare time making jewelry and traveling to juried craft shows in New Mexico. She and husband Wayne, make southwest furniture and are owners of Canyon Rim Company. Their son, Kristopher and his wife, Julie Fiore, live in Austin with Linda’s grand-dog, Liza. Linda feels fortunate to still be working with young people in Amarillo, and hopes that the arts community continues to thrive.