Showing posts with label Executive Director search. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Executive Director search. Show all posts

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

The League of Chicago Theatres Searches For New Executive Director To Replace Deb Clapp Who Is Stepping Down This June

The League of Chicago Theatres announces 

the resignation of  Executive Director Deb Clapp


The League of Chicago Theatres has announced that Executive Director Deb Clapp will step down from her position after leading the service organization for 14 years, effective June 30, 2022. The Board of Directors is in the process of engaging a search firm and a formal search for a new executive director will begin immediately.

League Board Chair Heidi Thompson Saunders states, “The League itself and theatres in Chicago are so fortunate to have had Deb’s leadership and vision for the last 14 years. Deb has been a tireless champion of our diverse and dedicated members, consistently advocating for programs and resources that provide for the needs of the entire theatre community. Deb has helped to build a solid foundation for the future of the League, and we look forward to continuing to serve our industry as it evolves. We are fortunate to have had her leadership through the pandemic, and thank her for her sustaining advocacy on behalf of the field.”

During Clapp’s tenure, the League of Chicago Theatres has stabilized finances as it has increased its earned and contributed revenue many times over. In collaboration with the League team and partners across the city of Chicago, Deb has been responsible for the creation and successful implementation of a number of successful initiatives that accomplish the League’s mission. Notable projects include: the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition, Chicago Theatre Week, The Year of Chicago Theatre (2019); and three new grant programs, which have distributed more than $2 million in grant funds to theatres. The organization has increased the number and scope of professional development programs to serve the varied needs of the industry and has flexibly pivoted due to changing conditions when necessary. 

Deb Clapp comments, “I am so proud of the work the League of Chicago Theatres has accomplished in the past 14 years. Together with the Board of Directors, the League staff, our member companies, and our amazing partners, we have been able to support and elevate the theatre community and, at times, help navigate the industry through some collective challenges. I will look on with great excitement to see what new energy and enthusiasm brings to the League and to my beloved Chicago theatre community.”

The Board of Directors is: Heidi Thompson Saunders, Managing Director, Court Theatre (Chair); Doreen Sayegh, Producer/General Manager, Pemberley Productions (Vice-Chair); Kate Piatt-Eckert, Executive Director, Steep Theatre Company (Treasurer); Charlique Rolle, Executive Director, Congo Square Theatre (Secretary); Stan Brown, Director of Graduate Studies, Northwestern University; Karen Cardarelli, Executive Director, Facets Multi-Media; Elaine Cohen, John Collins, Managing Director, Goodman Theatre; Alice da Cunha, Co-Artistic Director, Physical Theater Festival Chicago; Cody Estle, Artistic Director, Raven Theatre; Rachel Fink, Executive Director, Lookingglass Theatre; Karena Fiorenza, General Manager, Steppenwolf Theatre; Kirsten Fitzgerald, Artistic Director, A Red Orchid Theatre; Lisa Naparstek Green, Iceberg Enterprises; Ashlee Harris, Executive Director of Marketing, Broadway In Chicago; Jen Hoyt, Director of Special Projects, Steppenwolf Theatre; Emily Jelsomeno; Rachel Kraft; Eileen LaCario, Vice-President, Broadway In Chicago; Kate Lipuma, Executive Director, Writers Theatre; Marcela Muñoz, Managing and Co-Artistic Director Aguijón Theater; Susan Padveen, Associate Professor, Associate Chair, Columbia College Chicago; Tyrone Phillips, Artistic Director, Definition Theatre; Dr. Marcus Robinson, Enrich Chicago; Myrna Salazar, Director, Chicago Latino Theatre Alliance; Roche Schulfer, Executive Director, Goodman Theatre; Michael Patrick Thornton, Founder, The Gift Theatre; and Ivan Vega, Executive Director, UrbanTheater Company.

About Chicago theatre

Chicago theatre is the leader in the U.S. with more than 250 theatres throughout Chicagoland, comprising a rich and varied community ranging from storefront, non-union theatres 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 typically produces and/or presents more world premieres annually than any other city in the nation. Each year Chicago theatres send new work to resident theatres across the country, to Broadway, and around the world.


League of Chicago Theatres’ Mission Statement

Theatre is essential to the life of a great city and to its citizens. The League of Chicago Theatres is an alliance of theatres which leverages its collective strength to support, promote, and advocate for Chicago’s theatre industry. Through our work, we ensure that theatre continues to thrive in our city.


Monday, July 10, 2017

Chicago's Renowned Lookingglass Theatre Searches for New Executive Director

Rachel Kraft to step down 
after 12 years as Executive Director
Lookingglass begins search to find partner 
as it approaches its 30th Anniversary

Photo Credit for all: Joe Mazza

We adore Lookingglass Theatre Company, and they have long been favorites of ours here at & In fact, both of my teens were cast in their Summer Theatre Intensive and are spending 96 hours in their Lab Ensemble through August! Rachel Kraft will be dearly missed, but we're eager to see what the future holds for both Lookingglass and for Rachel. 

Lookingglass Theatre Company announces that Rachel Kraft has decided to step down as Executive Director after 12 years with the company. She will remain at Lookingglass through the end of the calendar year as they search for a successor. Lookingglass is in the process of choosing a search firm and the search is anticipated to begin in July.

Rachel has been the Executive Director of Lookingglass Theatre since September 2005. During her tenure, the company and its ensemble were honored as the Recipient of the 2011 Regional Theatre Tony Award; with Best Production for Moby Dick from the Joseph Jefferson Awards in 2015; with one of the first Doris Duke Charitable Foundation’s grants for Commissioning and Playwriting Initiative in 2015; with the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions recognizing exceptional nonprofits in 2016 along with a one million dollar grant; and the Artistic Achievement Award from the League of Chicago Theatres in 2017. 

Under her leadership, the company created 29 world premieres, toured and/or co-produced nine original productions, including Lookingglass Alice, Clay, Around the World in 80 Days, Metamorphoses, The Last Act of Lilka Kadison, Treasure Island and Moby Dick; twice produced the story/circus/food extravaganza Cascabel with partners Frontera Grill and Silverguy Entertainment; retired $500,000 in debt; had operating surpluses seven out of the past 11 years; and completed a Capacity Building Assessment (CBA) looking at critical business drivers of the company.        


Board Chairman John McGowan comments, “Under Rachel’s steadfast leadership, the company has enjoyed the most stable and productive period in our history. She has built a strong staff, assisted by a very capable deputy in General Manager Michele Anderson. Rachel orchestrated a new board structure and responsibilities and was the chief architect of our CBA, which has led to critical changes and investments in our infrastructure. She has been a champion of our Ensemble and their vision while always considering that our ‘theatre without a net’ cannot be achieved by putting the company at risk. With her guidance, we look forward to identifying a new leader to guide us in our fourth decade.”

Artistic Director Heidi Stillman adds, “On the eve of our 30th Anniversary Season, I am very proud that our ‘great experiment’ begun at Northwestern University continues to create new work and partnerships with our community. Rachel has been a true collaborator to the Ensemble and me and we are so grateful to her fierce love of the art and her commitment to the health of our company. Rachel’s leadership has set a high bar as we look for an Executive Director who will allow us to build on the many accomplishments during her tenure.”

Rachel Kraft comments, “From a very young age, the arts, and specifically theatre, have been my greatest passion. After 12 years at the Goodman and 12 years at Lookingglass, I am convinced of the unique place Chicago theater occupies in our country. Lookingglass’ bold mission to develop new work, primarily from within its ensemble, while sharing with the community its values of innovation, transformation and collaboration, remains an inspiration to me. I am proud of the Lookingglass marriage of Artists, Board and Staff and how the company is not afraid to learn and change. As Lookingglass prepares for its 30th Anniversary, I look forward to supporting a smooth transition and taking a personal ‘intermission’ to consider what form my service will take in the future.”

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 29th season, 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, received 143 Joseph Jefferson Awards and nominations, and work premiered at Lookingglass has been produced in New York City, Los Angeles, Seattle, Berkeley, Philadelphia, Princeton, Hartford, Kansas City, Washington D.C., Atlanta, Louisville and St. Louis. Lookingglass original scripts have been produced across the United States. In 2016, Lookingglass received the MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions.

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, General Manager Michele Anderson, a 24 member artistic ensemble, 23 artistic associates, 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

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