After graduating from North Central High School in 1927, Dorothy Darby Smith received her B.A in education from Washington State College. She completed her graduate work at Northwestern University, Stanford University, and the British Drama League in London. She received an M.A. in education from Gonzaga University.
Dorothy taught theatre for many years at Holy Names Academy, Gonzaga University, and the Spokane Civic Theatre. She served as the first president of the Civic Theatre in 1947. At the Civic she acted, worked backstage, and covered the box office.
She directed Barry Sullivan inBorn Yesterday during Expo’74 and Mercedes McCambridge in The Glass Menagerie the following year. Dorothy directed six different productions of A Christmas Carol. Her final appearance on stage was in 1992, playing the title role in Driving Miss Daisy.
She received many awards for her contribution to the theatre arts, the community and education. They include The Eastern Washington University Centennial Medal (1982); Spokane Civic Theatre 50-year celebration, honored as co-founder (1997); YWCA Woman of the Year, Arts Achievement Award (1983); Gonzaga University Honorary Doctor of Law Degree (1996); and Chase Gallery “Outstanding Women in Spokane’s History” exhibit (1997).
Dorothy Darby Smith, Spokane’s grande dame of theatre, died in 2007 at the age of 97.