Apple Tree Theatre in Highland Park, IL, has announced the appointment of Todd Schmidt as new managing director and Broadway actor and Chicago vet Ross Lehman as co-artistic director.
Schmidt has been general manager of Peninsula Players Theatre in Door County, WI, where he produced more than 40 plays and directed such works as Marvin's Room and Romance in D. He directed for the Theatre of Western Springs, and his Chicago production of The Woman in Black was nominated for a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Production.
Lehman is currently appearing in Steppenwolf Theater's production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. In fall 1999, the character actor appeared in Broadway's Epic Proportions. Prior to that, he starred in the role of Hysterium in Broadway's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, and played Trinculo in the New York Shakespeare Festival's production of The Tempest on Broadway. He most recently appeared at Apple Tree in the title role in The Dresser, earning a Jeff Award nomination.
Other Apple Tree credits include Sugar, Waiting for Godot, Where's Charley?, Amadeus and Stop the World...
Lehman is already set to star in Apple Tree's 2000-2001 season opener, the Chicago premiere of Syncopation, Sept. 13-Oct. 22. Schmidt replaces former Apple Tree managing director Alan Salzenstein, who became executive director at the new Metropolis Performing Arts Centre in Arlington Heights, where Apple Tree will be a principal presenter. Lehman takes over for Gary Griffin, who was recently named associate artistic director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.
Apple Tree Theatre is the only not-for-profit professional Equity theater in Lake County, at 595 Elm Place in downtown Highland Park, IL.
Eileen Boevers has been artistic and executive director of Apple Tree since its founding in 1973.
-- By Kenneth Jones