Theatre Building Chicago's New Artistic Director Is Allan Chambers

News   Theatre Building Chicago's New Artistic Director Is Allan Chambers Allan Chambers, associate artistic director of Theatre Building Chicago since 2001, was named the new artistic director by the TBC board on Aug. 3.

Chambers takes over for John Sparks, who stepped down from the position at the three-venue organization which has a reputation for championing new musicals and playing host to outside companies.

It's a busy time for TBC. Planning for New Musicals for Kids, Monday Night Musicals and STAGES 2009 is ongoing. Chambers has been busy prepping for STAGES 2009, the festival of developmental readings of new works. For it, he's "coordinating schedules of musical and stage directors and casting 60 actors for the six new musicals in the festival."

Chambers himself will direct a studio presentation of On the Brink with book and lyrics by Sparks, music by Thomas Adams (adapted from the play On Borrowed Time by Paul Osborn and Lawrence Watkins).

Sparks will be directing Song Poems-The Musical at the festival.

Chambers will be casting an ensemble of five actors for the three-show season of New Musicals for Kids and hiring a staff music director. This ensemble of performers will present three musicals this season for young audience ages pre-school through second grade. TBC's New Musicals for Kids season will include Tantrum on the Tracks, The Magic Paintbrush, A Whooper's Tale: The Incredible Story of Tex.

Chambers' relationship with TBC stretches back over 20 years. His many duties have included staff dramaturg, director of projects, director of theatre services including coordinating the annual Stages Festival of New Musicals, casting up to 20 projects per year, directing concert readings, directing studio productions, directing and dramaturgy on the annual Workshop Mini-Musical project, scheduling all day tenants and TBC musical program rehearsals, negotiating and contracting client theatre and arts organizations performing at TBC.

"This is a terrific opportunity for Allan, in many ways he has more experience, especially in casting and directing, and I wish him well," stated longtime colleague and mentor John Sparks.

Chambers is past-president of the Illinois Theatre Association, a founding and former board member of Chicago Alliance for Playwrights.

Chambers has served as an adjunct instructor at Robert Morris College and at North Park University, and has worked in various capacities at The Goodman Theatre, Music/Theatre Workshop, Our Town Productions, American DreamWorks, Different Drummer Theatre, Bailiwick Repertory, The Western Stage, Bigfork Playhouse and North Shore Music Theatre.

Visit theatrebuildingchicago.org.