downloadThe League of Chicago Theatres proudly announces the election of the Executive Committee Members and the appointment of four new members to The Board of Directors. The Executive Committee includes Board Chair Kate Lipuma, Executive Director, Writers Theatre; Vice Chair Rachel Kraft, Executive Director, Lookingglass Theatre Company; Treasurer Heather Schmucker, Associate Producer, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre; and Secretary Dan McArdle, Managing Director, The Neo-Futurists. Elected by members of the League, newly-elected Board Members include Brittany Barnes, Managing Director, Pavement Group; Peter Handler, Program Director, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Bill Melamed, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; and Regina Taylor, Artistic Collective, Goodman Theatre.

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of over 200 theatres that leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally.  Every year, the League accomplishes this mission through a wide variety of programs that includes audience development, professional development, advocacy, and awareness.

“Our newly-appointed Executive Committee Members have been dedicated members of our Board of Directors, demonstrating leadership and expertise in the Chicago theatre community,” notes Executive Director Deb Clapp.  “With their continued leadership and the addition of these passionate new Board Members, I am very excited for the League of Chicago Theatres continued growth.”

“The League of Chicago Theatres staff and board is a highly-dedicated group committed to support and promote what is considered to be one of the strongest and most cohesive theatre communities in the world.  I look forward to working with Deb, the staff, and my fellow board members and officers to continue the organization’s great work,” comments newly elected Chair Kate Lipuma.

The League of Chicago Theatres Board of Directors includes: Chair Kate Lipuma, Executive Director, Writers Theatre; Vice Chair Rachel Kraft, Executive Director; Lookingglass Theatre Company; Treasurer Heather Schmucker, Associate Producer, Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Secretary Dan McArdle, Managing Director, The Neo-Futurists; Foundation Chair, David Hawkanson, Executive Director, Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Brittany Barnes, Managing Director, Pavement Group; Les Coney, Vice-President, Mesirow Financial;Tim Evans, Executive Director, Northlight Theatre; Brian Golden, Managing Artistic Director, Theatre Seven of Chicago; Jonathan Green,Artistic Director, Sideshow Theatre Company; Peter Handler, Program Director, Richard H. Driehaus Foundation; Criss Henderson,Executive Director, Chicago Shakespeare Theater; Jan Kallish, Producer, Jan Kallish Productions; Beth Kaskel, General Manager, American Theater Company; Hon. Paul C. Lillios, Chief Administrative Law Judge, United States Social Security Administration; Diana Martinez, President, Spark Creative Consulting; Bill Melamed, Chief Marketing and Development Officer, Hubbard Street Dance Chicago; Matt Nielson, Deputy Commissioner, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events; Alan Salzenstein, Performing Arts Management Coordinator, DePaul University; Jodie Shpritz, Vice President, No Limit Agency; Regina Taylor, Artistic Collective, Goodman Theatre; and Jeremy Wechsler, Artistic Director, Theater Wit.

About the Officers

Board Chair Kathryn M. Lipuma has been the Executive Director of Writers Theatre since March 2007 where she is currently leading the planning and creation of a new state of the art theatre complex, designed by internationally renowned architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects.  Lipuma was Executive Director of Signature Theatre Company in New York for nine years and serves on the Board of Theatre Communications Group. She is the co-creator of DoNorth, an umbrella organization joining four cultural neighbors—Chicago Botanic GardenKohl Children’s MuseumRavinia Festival and Writers Theatre—to attract new audiences to the cultural, environmental, and community activities of Chicago’s North Shore.

Vice Chair Rachel E. Kraft is in her eighth season as the Executive Director of Lookingglass Theatre Company. Her 20 plus years of experience in arts management include over a decade as director of development at the Goodman Theatre, and key roles with the Arts and Business Council, Northlight Theatre and the Chicago Dance Coalition. Rachel is a charter board member of the documentary film organization the Kindling Group, a trustee of the Jewish Women’s Foundation of Chicago, and serves on the Alumnae Council of the Chicago Foundation for Women.

Treasurer Heather Schmucker is Associate Producer at Chicago Shakespeare Theater. She was the Producing Director of the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University for five years and, for seven years, was Producing Director of About Face Theatre.

Secretary Dan McArdle is the Managing Director of The Neo-Futurists. Dan was the Finance Manager at Lookingglass Theatre Company and General Manager of Theatre Seven of Chicago, where he was also an artistic Company Member. He has held arts management positions with Goodman Theatre, Westport Country Playhouse in Connecticut and Forestburgh Playhouse in upstate New York.  He is a graduate of DePaul University’s MFA/Arts Leadership Program, a two-year program that combines a Fellowship position at Chicago Shakespeare Theater with coursework at DePaul.

About the newly-elected board members

Founding Member and Managing Director of Pavement Group, Brittany Barnes is currently the Development Manager at Victory Gardens Theater and has previously worked at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, the Chicago Cultural Center Foundation and the Goodman Theatre.

Program Director at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, Peter Handler is a teacher and playwright who has helped artists and theatre companies secure grants and awards for the past 8 years through his work with the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation and Grantmakers in the Arts.

Chief Marketing and Development Officer for Hubbard Street Dance Chicago, Bill Melamed has more than twenty years of experience in fundraising and philanthropic leadership, previously serving as Regional Director of Development for Kellogg School of Management, and Vice President of Development at amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

Award-winning actor, director and playwright Regina Taylor is a member and Artistic Associate of the Goodman Theatre and a resident playwright at NYC’s Signature Theatre Company.  Taylor is also the National Spokesperson for the Ovarian Cancer Symptom Awareness Organization (OCSA).

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theaters throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters to the most renowned resident theatres in the country, including 5 which have been honored with Regional Tony Awards, and the largest touring Broadway organization in the nation. Chicago’s theatres serve 5 million audience members annually and have a combined budget of more than $250 million. Chicago produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. In 2009-10 alone Chicago theater companies produced more than 130 world premiere productions and adaptations. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.

The League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theaters which leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally. The League of Chicago Theatres Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the art of theatre in the Chicago area through audience development and support services for theatres and theatre professionals.

For a comprehensive list of Chicago productions, visit the League of Chicago website, www.chicagoplays.com.  Discounted tickets are available at www.hottix.org.