Copeland to Exit Chicago's About Face; Schmucker Named Interim Exec Director

News   Copeland to Exit Chicago's About Face; Schmucker Named Interim Exec Director Gregory Copeland, executive director of Chicago's About Face Theatre, which is devoted to plays about gender and sexual identity, announced that he will be leaving Chicago this summer for a professional opportunity on the West Coast.

With his departure, About Face producing director Heather Schmucker has been appointed as interim executive director.

"The decision to promote Heather was unanimous among the board," stated board president William Michel. "Heather is a strong asset to the company and we are honored that she has accepted this position. Having been with the company since 1999 and led its transformation from a small neighborhood theatre to a producing company with a glowing national reputation among major artists, there simply could not be a better candidate to partner with Eric Rosen in this new era."

Artistic director Eric Rosen agreed, stating: "I am so grateful that Heather has accepted this position. Though I'm very sad to see Greg Copeland leave Chicago and About Face after nearly 10 years of service, he leaves the company much stronger, more capable of continuing its national development, and in better fiscal health."

On Schmucker's appointment, Rosen noted, "Heather has been a close colleague and partner to me on the artistic producing work of About Face for most of the last decade. I am eager to see the company continue to grow under her executive leadership."

Schmucker will assume the role of interim executive director effective at the end of June. Schmucker assumes her role as the company prepares to launch its 12th season, to include the world premiere of a new play by Rosen produced in partnership with Steppenwolf Theatre, the Chicago premiere of the Tony-nominated comedy The Little Dog Laughed, the launch of an important new work by the acclaimed Youth Theatre, and the West Coast premiere of About Face and Lookingglass Theatre's hip hop sensation Clay.

For more information about the upcoming season, visit www.aboutfacetheatre.com.

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About Face Theatre "creates exceptional, innovative, and adventurous plays to advance the national dialogue on gender and sexual identity, and to challenge and entertain audiences in Chicago, across the country, and around the world," according to its mission. "Working within and beyond the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities, About Face Theatre is committed to innovation, artistic excellence and community transformation. About Face has three programming arms: its award-winning Mainstage Season, its innovative New Works Program, and its nationally recognized Education Programs, including the celebrated About Face Youth Theatre and Educational Outreach tour that collectively reach over 5,000 Illinois students and teachers each year."

About Face has developed and produced over 30 new productions for Chicago audiences, including 25 world premieres, by emerging and national-level theatre artists.