Shoss, 42, who has held the Aviation Department post since 1997, will begin her new job leading Chicago's 170-member live theatre collective on July 5. The League bangs the drum for resident theatres, encouraging audience growth through various programs and assisting in the health and lives of individual theatres.
"Deanna has just the skill set we were seeking," said Roche Schulfer, board president of the League of Chicago Theatres, and executive director of the Goodman Theatre. "She is a proven leader, savvy in business, familiar with working within Chicago's political landscape, a marketing expert full of smart new ideas, with deep experience managing diverse constituencies. Chicago theatres large and small, commercial and non-profit, will surely benefit as Deanna builds on the League's strong track record, and guides our organization to the future."
During her eight-year tenure at the Chicago Department of Aviation, Shoss oversaw more than 50 special events annually, and dozens of public arts projects and exhibits for 80 million passengers at Chicago's airports. Many area theatres and arts organizations were involved in her projects, through which she built relationships within the community.
Marj Halperin, outgoing president and CEO of the League, will help facilitate a transition for the League. Halperin announced her resignation in February and will remain as head of the League through July 1. Her many accomplishments include the launch of Chicagoplays, Chicago's monthly theatre magazine and program, creating the http://www.chicagoplays.com web site, developing marketing initiatives including Theater Fever, Theater Thursdays and the From the Streets to the Seats public service campaign, and achieving tax, licensing, zoning and building code concessions for Chicago's theatres.
Founded in 1979, the League of Chicago Theatres "is an alliance of theatres that leverages its collective strength to promote, support and advocate for Chicago's theatre industry locally, nationally and internationally." Currently, the League, with an annual budget of $6.6 million, serves a diverse membership of 170+ theatres and theatre companies, ranging from small storefront, non-union companies to major cultural centers with multi-million dollar facilities and productions.