The New Colony’s Founders & Co-Artistic Directors Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder To Step Down

The New Colony announced today that Founding Members and Co-Artistic Directors Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder will step down in January 2018 at the conclusion of the company’s ninth season. TNC’s Board of Directors has launched a search for a new Artistic Director and a replacement is expected to be announced later this year.

Under Linder and Hobgood’s leadership, The New Colony has presented 29 world premiere productions, 10 workshop productions and over one hundred staged readings of new plays. It has grown from five founders in 2008 to an ensemble of 25 in 2017. Highlights include 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, which transferred Off-Broadway to SoHo Playhouse in 2012, is published by Samuel French and has seen productions in over 40 states and five continents. FRAT, first produced at the Dank Haus in 2009, went on to receive a commercial remount from Hatmaker Productions in 2011. Successful co-productions were mounted with The Inconvenience and the University of Chicago (B-Side Studio, 2013), Bailiwick Chicago (Rise of the Numberless, 2012) and the Chicago Commercial Collective (5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche, 2014 commercial run at Chopin Theater). In 2013, ReWILDing Genius was commissioned by the University of Chicago and received its world premiere at the Steppenwolf Garage. Byhalia, Mississippi, a co-production with Definition Theatre Company, simultaneously premiered in seven cities in January 2016 as part of a World Premiere Conversation. The production was nominated for six Jeff Awards and transferred to Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre. Hobgood and Linder were both named on Chicago Magazine’s “Power List of Theatre Scene Stealers” and The New Colony was given Broadway in Chicago’s Emerging Theatre Award in 2011. In 2013, the company inaugurated its Associate Company Intensive for emerging theatre artists that has developed eight new plays. TNC’s Writers Room began in 2015 and has now welcomed over 50 Chicago playwrights. For its past three seasons, The New Colony has produced at its resident home The Den Theatre.

(left to right) The New Colony Co-Artistic Directors Andrew Hobgood and Evan Linder.

“When Evan and I started The New Colony, we wanted to form a company where new artists could create new theater that spoke to a new generation of theater-goers,” comments Andrew Hobgood. “After supporting the development of over 100 original scripts and producing nearly 30 world premieres, it is insane to think we even made it past our first season. The Chicago theater scene is changing rapidly, and that means our mission requires leadership that reflects the type of new theater and new artists Chicago needs today. I am so excited that we have the opportunity to hand this incredible ensemble and organization over to the leadership oftomorrow.”

Adds Evan Linder, “For ten years, it’s been my privilege to make theatre with my best friend Andrew and the most talented collection of people I know. I’m excited to continue to do just that as a member of our ensemble, and I can’t wait to see what stories The New Colony’s next leaders want to share. I believe TNC’s mission to bring world premiere plays and musicals to Chicago is vital. I’m thrilled that our ensemble and board want that mission to continue.”

TNC Board President Emilee Lales comments, “We are so grateful to Evan and Andrew for guiding us through The New Colony’s first ten years. We are thrilled to have them involved in a new capacity: focusing their experience towards growing our education programs and continuing to develop new work and new artists. This next year will be yet another major leap forward in accomplishing our mission.”

About Andrew Hobgood & Evan Linder:

Andrew Hobgood is a founding member and Co- Artistic Director of The New Colony. His play 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche won Outstanding Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival before opening as an Off-Broadway production that Ben Brantley of the New York Times called “raw and magnetic dementia…destined to attract a cult following.” 5 Lesbians, published with Samuel French, has been produced around the globe and translated into over ten languages. His last play, reWILDing Genius, was commissioned by the University of Chicago and had its world premiere at the Steppenwolf Garage Rep. Hobgood’s other work with The New Colony includes writing the new musicals Tupperware: An American Musical FableThat Sordid Little StoryRise of The Numberless and Plastic Revolution. His directing credits for The New Colony include Amelia Earhart: Jungle Princess; the original and commercial productions of FRATHearts Full of Blood, which won Outstanding Script at the 2010 New York International Fringe Festival; the short film So Many DaysB-Side Studio, produced in collaboration with The Inconvenience and the University of Chicago TAPS program; Orville and Wilbur Did it! and MERGE. He has been seen on The New Colony mainstage performing in Pancake BreakfastThe Bear Suit of HappinessThe Terrible and Kin Folk. In 2010, Newcity Magazine named him one of the “50 People Who Really Perform for Chicago” and in 2013 he and Co-Artistic Director Evan Linder were two of six people on Chicago Magazine’s “Cultural Power List of Theater Scene Stealers.” He is the creator of The New Colony’s method of development called The Process and continues to teach it as part of The New Colony’s education program.

Evan Linder is a founding member and the Co-Artistic Director of The New Colony in Chicago. A playwright, actor, director and educator, Evan is a proud graduate of the College of Charleston and the recipient of his alma mater’s 2016 Alumnus of the Year Award. In 2016, Evan reprised the role of Jim in the remount of his play Byhalia, Mississippi (2016 Non-Equity Jeff Award for Best New Work) at Steppenwolf’s 1700 Theatre and became a member of the Goodman Playwrights Unit. Other plays include FRAT11:11The WarriorsThe Bear Suit of Happiness (published by Chicago Dramaworks), B-Side Studio (co-writer Ike Holter) and 5 Lesbians Eating a Quiche (co-writer Andrew Hobgood, published by Samuel French) which ran Off-Broadway at the SoHo Playhouse from 2012-2013 and has been performed in over 40 states and on five continents. His play The Hunted (co-writer Paul Oakley Stovall) was a 2017 O’Neill finalist and received a workshop at Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s Black Swan Lab. His play commissioned by the Goodman, Jo and Liv, was given a staged reading there in July 2017 directed by Krissy Vanderwarker. Evan has acted in over 40 regional productions and has appeared on Chicago PD on NBC. In 2017, he was seen as Stuart in the original production and extended remount of Broken Nose Theatre’s At the Table (Jeff Awards for Best Ensemble and Best Play). Upcoming projects include: The Antelope Party at Theatre Wit, Grace at Interrobang Theatre and a supporting role in the feature film Once Upon a River (dir: Haroula Rose). Evan is the creator of The New Colony’s Writers’ Room that has now welcomed over 50 emerging playwrights since its inception. Evan is a guest lecturer at the University of Chicago and is represented by ICM Partners.

About The New Colony

The New Colony develops NEW ART and NEW ARTISTS in order to educate and build NEW AUDIENCES. Founded in 2008, The New Colony has established itself as “one of Chicago’s essential off-Loop companies” (Chicago Tribune) having developed and produced over 25 world-premiere plays and musicals garnering four Joseph Jefferson Awards, the 2011 Broadway in Chicago Emerging Theatre Award, and Best Overall Production at the 2012 New York International Fringe Festival. The New Colony is a resident company of The Den Theatre located in Wicker Park.