Gail Smith Deschamps

November 18, 1937February 12, 2021

Gail Smith Deschamps passed away on February 12, 2021, in Atlanta, GA and is now reunited with the loves of her life, Dalton Smith and Robert Deschamps. Born in Manchester, England, she came to the US as a young girl and quickly grew fascinated with performing in the theatre. Gail shared her true love for Shakespearean acting and directing in productions across the country from Las Vegas to New Orleans, Miami and Rome, GA. She founded and served as the Artistic Director for the Georgia Mountain Theater and Florida and Rome Shakespeare Festivals where she entertained thousands of theatre fans of all ages for over four decades. In her final days she was surrounded by her children, Clark, Sean, Kathleen, Angus and Alexander.

A celebration of life will take place for friends to pay their respects on Friday, February 19th at the RAD Playhouse from 5-9 pm: 233 N. 5th Avenue, Rome, GA 30165

A private funeral will be held on Saturday, February 20, for the family.

“We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with a sleep.” ― William Shakespeare In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Rome Shakespeare Festival 3 Central Plaza PO Box 416 Rome, GA 30161


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Gail Smith Deschamps

have a memory or condolence to add?

Ron Hubbard

February 18, 2021

I lost only one sword fight. It was with Gail Duchamp. With her passing, I now freely admit that Gail did not use a sword. During the mighty combat that ensued, she bested me with “words, words, words.” Naturally, I felt the conflict was weighted to her advantage as I had never had to face off against iambic pentameter.

But now I say to her
"Once more unto the breach dear friend."

Brian Mullin

February 16, 2021

At age 20, I met Gail at the University of Miami in 1979, and worked with her for 12 years, through So. Fla. Theatre Company and its many metamorphoses as Fla. Shakespeare Festival and finally the Minorca Playhouse. In that time, I watched her 4 Smith children grow older, and got to know a very young Alexander Deschamps, many dogs and two nannies (Beryl and Marianne.) They were in many ways a second family to me. I loved her dearly, and will miss her.

Dagmar Bergan

February 16, 2021

I worked with Gail as a musical director/pianist and a singer/actor from her very first production in Miami through Minorca Theater, which Andrew blew away, and therafter. I loved working/hanging with Gail. She was a great talent.

John Briggs

February 15, 2021

I am stunned to see that Gail has passed. Seems we talked not long ago about doing another show together. Robert and Gail make up a significant part of my professional theatre life, and I shall miss her. My deepest condolences.

Mary Beth Morrison

February 15, 2021

I first met and worked with Gail, through Rome Shakespeare. She was large as life, and twice as fierce. No, more than that! I don't think I've ever met anyone with her relentless energy and drive, and her reverential love of the theatre arts.

She was, by turns, hilariously funny, warm, expresive - then inscrutable - and at times,she was absolutely terrifying, and EVERY MOMENT I GOT TO SPEND WITH HER WAS AN INCREDIBLE BLESSING.

In the time that I knew her, Gail lived life like she was squeezing every last bit of juice out of the orange: with great relish and purpose. She lived life to her very fingertips and toes, through the top of her head, and out into the skies and stars, beyond. She was an extraordinary energy and an unstoppable force.

All of my love and reverence to this wonderful woman, who was my mentor and muse.

All of my love, comfort, and condolences to Gail's family and friends.

Paul Culotta

February 15, 2021

I met Gail through Rome Little Theatre first when she was coaching a cast on English pronunciation, then serving on casting committees when she was a director. By the time auditions were over, Gail had worn everyone out by extracting the very best out of them. The actors were beat, the casting committee was beat, and I suspect even the rats in the theatre were beat. And the results showed in her exquisite productions. Gail was also a playwright and I was honored when she asked me to read a major character in a live reading. I was so moved by the ending I could barely read my lines for all the tears. She has left mighty big shoes to fill.

Peter Williams

February 15, 2021

Just learned of Gail’s death. Condolences to the family from Peter and Ann Williams (cousin).

Reed Castrejon

February 14, 2021

These past few days my heart has been heavy, Gail was nothing less than a genius and truly cared for every actor or actress that had the privilege to work with her. I had first met her when I was 8 years old and the span of the next 7 years Gail would encourage me both on and offstage. I’m sure she’s impacted everyone that had the joy to meet her, and I look back on every show and conversation with her with a warm heart knowing she’s resting easy. Rest in Peace Gail, you’re missed and loved by many.

Suzanne Fischer

February 14, 2021

I am speechless and saddened. Not much more I can say at this point  other than Rome lost one of our Art treasures of the rarest quality. Gail is irreplaceable, but her spirit will continue on in so many she has inspired and gifted with her knowledge, enthusiasm, and passion for theatre.
Suzanne Fischer

Va. McChesney

February 14, 2021

Oh, to have just one more conversation!