Clapp has 15 years experience in theatre, most recently as an independent consultant for theatres such as About Face, Chicago Children's, Chicago Opera and Teatro Vista. Prior to that she was the director of management at Goodman Theatre for five years. She came to Chicago from Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, CT, where she served as general manager and acting managing director. She started her career as a part-time house manager at Hartford Stage where she continued as operations manager and associate business manager.
"Chicago's theatre community is the most vibrant and innovative in the world and I am honored the League has asked me to help represent the community," stated Clapp.
According to the League announcement, "While Chicago's theatre community is celebrating one of its most successful years in terms of critical acclaim, the League's members are also facing the challenges of a slowing economy and increasing local and global competition for entertainment and tourist dollars. Clapp will examine the League's current services and recommend to the board how it can best help Chicago's theatre community grow in attendance and stature."
David Hawkanson, chair of the search committee and executive director of Steppenwolf Theatre, stated, "The League conducted a national search for a new executive director. Deb's combination of management experience, leadership skills and enthusiasm for Chicago theatre made her the leading candidate. Deb has prior commitments through August and will begin full-time with the League after those have been fulfilled. All of us on the board are looking forward to working with her."
Founded in 1979, the League 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 serves a diverse membership of nearly 200 theatres and theatre companies, ranging from small storefront, non-union companies to major cultural centers with multi-million dollar facilities and productions.
For complete information about the League of Chicago Theatres, visit ChicagoPlays.com.