Ms. Bandle, a tall, elegant woman with shoulder-length ash-blonde hair, became the Goodman's press director in 1985, and her two-decade tenure saw the theatre rise to national prominence and become one of the biggest and most important nonprofits in the United States.
Among the shows she helped publicize were several famous collaborations between Goodman artistic director Robert Falls and actor Brian Dennehy, including Death of a Salesman, and a number of plays that later transferred to New York. These included A Moon for the Misbegotten, Hollywood Arms and several August Wilson plays, including King Hedley II, Seven Guitars and The Piano Lesson. The Stephen Sondheim musical Bounce also had its premiere at the Goodman.
She was also on duty when the Goodman made a long-awaited move from its old home in the Art Institute of Chicago to a new North Loop complex, located on Dearborn Street between Randolph and Lake, the historic site of the Garrick and Woods theatres and the landmark Harris and Selwyn theatres. The two-theatre venue cost $44 million.
The Goodman's Falls and executive director Roche Schulfer said, in a joint statement, "her dedication and professionalism have been essential to the Goodman's success over the past two decades. Her passion and loyalty to the theater have been beyond compare. But most of all she was an extraordinary colleague and a trusted friend to all of us."
Cynthia Bandle was born on Oct. 31, 1955, in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. She grew up in various places, including St. Louis, Eugene, Oregon, and spent her formative years in McLean, Virginia. She was in a manner of speaking born into her profession, as her mother owned a PR agency in Washington, D.C. Two major clients were Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus and the Washington Ballet. She met her husband Alton while doing the press for the Washington Ballet. They married on August 8, 1981, and moved to Chicago in September of 1983. Soon after, she was hired by the Goodman.
Services will be private. A remembrance of Ms. Bandle will be held at the Goodman on a date to be announced.