Rosen will continue as artistic director of Chicago's About Face through the end of the season as a national search is conducted for a replacement. He is slated to start at Kansas City in late spring 2008.
Rosen will continue his relationship with About Face as founding artistic director and will return to Chicago to develop new work and direct on a regular basis.
The About Face Theatre world premiere production of Wedding Play, written and directed by Rosen opened at Steppenwolf on Nov. 3. Rosen will also direct the Windy City premiere of The Little Dog Laughed, starring Mary Beth Fisher and Lea Coco, to be performed at The Center on Halsted, opening Jan. 19, 2008.
"Though it's incredibly sad for me to leave Chicago and my home theatre, the appointment at Kansas City Repertory Theatre is an incredible honor and an extraordinary opportunity," Rosen stated. "The Rep will maintain close ties with Chicago artists under my leadership, and I look forward to continuing to build relationships in Chicago with About Face and the many great arts institutions with which we have partnered over the past 12 years. Kyle Hall and I started About Face with a dream to build a leading national force in the creation of new work with a particular focus on gender and sexual identity, and I feel that About Face's national reputation and impact on Chicago theatre is at a high point. About Face is artistically vital, and will attract a leader of the highest caliber to take the helm at this turning point in our history."
Under Rosen's leadership, About Face has staged 30 world premieres and is one of the major new-works theatres in Chicago. Eric Rosen, 37, recently developed the world premiere of the hip-hop musical Clay for About Face and Lookingglass, which recently played Los Angeles' Center Theatre Group and will also transfer to New York in early 2008.
Original works for About Face include the musical Winesburg, Ohio (Jeff Award, Best New Work and nomination, Best Musical, also seen at the NAMT Festival in New York and the Arden Theatre in Philadelphia, five Barrymore Awards, including Best Musical), Dream Boy (Jeff Award, Best Direction and Production, with many regional productions), Dancer from the Dance, Whitman, Undone and The Gift, along with Words on Fire and the original Winesburg at Steppenwolf and concept and direction of Adam Guettel's Myths and Hymns at the Prince Music Theatre (Barrymore nominations, Best Director, Musical).
His directing credits include several About Face/Steppenwolf co-productions, including the world premieres of M. Proust by Mary Zimmerman (Jeff nomination, Best New Play) and Theater District (Jeff Award, Best New Play), and the Chicago premiere of Take Me Out. Other About Face directing credits include the world premiere of Fascination (also developed at the O'Neill), the American premiere of Christopher Shinn's Four, and the Chicago premiere of bash.
His recent projects include direction of The Trip to Bountiful at Kansas City Rep, Seussical at Chicago Shakespeare, and Dandelion Wine for Chicago Children's Theatre, and the workshop of the new musical True Fans for Playwrights Horizons.