Mayes will be leading a group of dedicated Bailiwick artists "to reorganize the company and reenergize its artistic mission."
David Zak will continue to be involved in the company, and will transition into the role of artistic director emeritus.
The company known for producing LGBT-related plays, plus intimate offbeat plays and musicals, recently left its longtime home and has been presenting at rented spaces.
"We are excited that Kevin has agreed to take on this challenge," Cortelyou stated, "and look forward to supporting him, along with a core team of artistic associates, as they work together to continue Bailiwick's remarkable 27-year legacy."
"Running the Bailiwick has been an incredible life experience," Zak stated, "and I'm so proud of the work we've done, especially the world premieres we've produced with artists like Larry Kramer, Dennis DeYoung, and Claudia Allen, among many, many others. But I look forward to handing the reigns over to Kevin. He has worked closely with me over the past five years, and he cares deeply about the mission of the Bailiwick. I know that he, along with the other extremely talented and motivated artistic associates who have stepped up to the plate, will do great things together. I look forward to working with them as a close advisor and director of future productions." Mayes has been an active member of the Chicago theatre scene for the last decade. He has twice been nominated for Best Actor in a Musical by the Jeff Committee (My Favorite Year and A Man of No Importance), and has worked as a director and musical director in both Chicago and New York. He worked closely with Lloyd Richards at the O'Neill Theater's National Playwrights Conference, and with Wendy Wasserstein on the original production of The Sisters Rosensweig at Lincoln Center. He has his degree in theatre and music from Yale University, and has more than 15 years executive management experience working with large corporations as well as small start-ups.
"We've had our challenges over the past few years, many related to the state of the economy, and others due to the dynamic nature of the Chicago theater market," said Mayes. "But I'm extremely excited by the opportunity to lead this organization forward. My initial focus will be on improving our operations and fiscal stability. Meanwhile, I hope that the artistic community and our faithful audiences will support us as we redefine — and recommit to — our artistic mission. I'm very excited to work with this passionate group of actors, directors, designers, and stage managers. I'm also extremely thankful to David for his vote of confidence, and look forward to his advice and counsel over the coming months in his new role."
Plans for the 2009-10 season are currently under review, and will be announced at a later date.