Lookingglass Theatre Company Elects HEIDI STILLMAN New Artistic Director
Lookingglass Theatre Company announces the election of its newest Artistic Director, Ensemble Member Heidi Stillman. Stillman has served as Artistic Director of New Work since 2004 and replaces current Artistic Director, Ensemble Member Andrew White. White, who has held the post since 2010, will serve as the company’s first Connectivity and Engagement Director. Ensemble Member Philip R. Smith remains on the artistic leadership team in his role as Producing Director. In this spirit of ensemble and collaboration, Lookingglass Ensemble members routinely vote on the position of artistic director every three years. Elections are then ratified by the Lookingglass Board of Directors, and this artistic transition is effective immediately.
“I’m honored and thrilled to have another turn as Artistic Director of my beloved company,” comments Artistic Director Heidi Stillman. “As we head towards our thirtieth season, it’s an exciting moment for us to take stock and envision what the future holds for Lookingglass.”
As Artistic Director of New Work, Stillman has been responsible for the cultivation of the new works that appear on the Lookingglass stage. She previously served as Artistic Director alongside Ensemble Member David Kersnar from 1997-2000. Stillman has written and directed numerous Lookingglass productions, including Cascabel (in collaboration with Rick Bayless and Tony Hernandez), The North China Lover, Hephaestus (in collaboration with Tony Hernandez), The Brothers Karamazov (2009 Raven Award), andHard Times (5 Joseph Jefferson Awards, including director, new work, and production).
“During my ten seasons with Lookingglass, I have been fortunate to work with Andy White, and before that David Catlin, in the role of Artistic Director. In Heidi Stillman we have another strong voice who will lead us during an exciting period, as the Company approaches its 30th Anniversary during the 2017-18 Season,” notes Executive Director Rachel Kraft. “We are delighted that Phil Smith and Andy White, in the new position of Director of Connectivity and Engagement, will continue working closely with the board and staff, as well as deepen our connection to our audiences.”
In his new role as Connectivity and Engagement Director, White will focus on deepening the relationships between Lookingglass and its audiences, community partners and institutional funders.
“From our earliest days as a Company, it’s been part of our mission to change, charge and empower our artists, our audiences and our community,” notes Andrew White. “This new position demonstrates a commitment to that as a continued priority for Lookingglass. My hope is to offer an expanded window through which our audiences can better see and understand Lookingglass’ work and unique process; construct deeper and more sustained relationships with our many community partners; and help build an enduring foundation upon which Lookingglass’ work onstage and in our community will thrive and prosper in the years ahead.”
About the Artistic Team
Heidi Stillman is a director, writer, actor, and ensemble member of Lookingglass Theatre Company where she has been working on staff in charge of artistic development for the last eleven years. Heidi was previously artistic director (with David Kersnar) from 1997-2000. She most recently directed Death Tax at Lookingglass, and co-created/co-directed Cascabel, in collaboration with Tony Hernandez and Rick Bayless. She has both written and directed for Lookingglass: The North China Lover; Hephaestus, with Tony Hernandez; The Brothers Karamazov (2009 Raven Award); Hard Times (5 Jeff Awards including director, new work, and production; also produced at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia); The Master and Margarita. Additional writing credits with Lookingglass: The Last Act of Lilka Kadison with Nicola Behrman, David Kersnar, Abbie Phillips and Andy White; The Old Curiosity Shop with Laura Eason and Raymond Fox (Jeff Award for adaptation), and The Baron in the Trees with Larry DiStasi. Directing work with Lookingglass includes: Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo, Trust, The Wooden Breeks, and Hillbilly Antigone. Heidi’s adaptation of The Book Thief premiered at Steppenwolf Theatre Company in 2012.
Philip R. Smith has been an ensemble member at Lookingglass Theatre Company since 1990. He served as the theatre’s Producing Artistic Director since 2003, where he has helped produce over 60 productions. In 2011 Lookingglass received the Regional Theatre Tony Award. As Producing Director, he promotes the company’s brand, ensemble and mission through production, marketing, facilities, casting, events and fundraising initiatives. As an actor, Phil most recently appeared as Captain Smollett in Treasure Island, Bass in Big Lake Big City, Ethan in Ethan Frome, Will in Trust and Ivan in The Brothers Karamazov. Other acting credits include Doctor Sartorius in The March, Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird, Reverend Parris in The Crucible (all at Steppenwolf Theatre Company), and Phileas Fogg in Around the World in 80 Days at Baltimore’s Center Stage, with other regional credits at McCarter Theatre (NJ), Seattle Repertory Theatre (WA), Arden Theatre Company (PA), Brooklyn Academy of Music (NY), and The Actors’ Gang (CA). Additional Lookingglass credits include: The Wooden Breeks, Hillbilly Antigone, Metamorphoses, The Idiot,The Vanishing Twin, The Arabian Nights and Up Against It. TV and film credits include: Boss, Prison Break,Friends, Chicago Hope, Early Edition, Kissing a Fool, The Dilemma, The Express, Since You’ve Been Goneand High Fidelity.
Andrew White is a founding member of Lookingglass Theatre Company, where he served as Artistic Director from 1990–92, and most recently from 2010–16. As a Lookingglass ensemble member and performer, he has participated as an actor, writer or director in more than forty Lookingglass productions, most recently appearing in Treasure Island. He wrote the book and lyrics for Lookingglass’ 2012 production of Eastland: A New Musical, received a Jeff Award for his 2004 adaptation of George Orwell’s 1984 (which was presented at Steppenwolf Theatre Company this season as part of the Steppenwolf for Young Adults program), and wrote and directed Of One Blood for Lookingglass in 1989. Andy has worked in corporate, non-profit, and classroom environments, structuring and facilitating conversations with participants around organizational and community issues since 1990. He has worked in Lookingglass Outreach and Education programs with students of all ages: developing and implementing arts-integrated units in elementary and high schools; facilitating faculty workshops in schools across the Chicagoland area; and working with teenagers across the city to use theater as a means of engaging their peers in dialogue about community issues, from HIV to racism. He has taught in various Lookingglass outreach programs and residencies, and in 2007 co-founded Mosaic Experience, a company which uses an arts-based approach to dialogue about diversity.
About Lookingglass Theatre Company
Inventive. Collaborative. Transformative. Lookingglass Theatre Company, recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award, was founded in 1988 by eight Northwestern University students. Now in its 28thseason, Lookingglass is home to a multi-disciplined ensemble of artists who create story-centered theatrical work that is physical, aurally rich and visually metaphoric. The Company has staged 64 world premieres and received 112 Joseph Jefferson awards and nominations. Work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., and St. Louis. Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States.
The Lookingglass Theatre in Chicago’s landmark Water Tower Water Works opened in June 2003. In addition to developing and presenting ensemble work, Lookingglass Education and Community programs encourage creativity, teamwork and confidence with thousands of community members each year.
Lookingglass Theatre Company continues to expand its artistic, financial and institutional boundaries under the guidance of Artistic Director Heidi Stillman, Executive Director Rachel Kraft, Producing Director Philip R. Smith, Connectivity and Engagement Director Andrew White, a 24-member artistic ensemble, 15 artistic associates, 11 production affiliates, an administrative staff and a dedicated board of directors led by Chairman John McGowan of CTC| myCFO (a part of
BMO Financial Group) and President Nancy Timmers, civic leader and philanthropist. For more information, visit www.lookingglasstheatre.org.