Chicago's ATC Gets New Exec Director, New Actors and Adds Celebrity Row to Season

News   Chicago's ATC Gets New Exec Director, New Actors and Adds Celebrity Row to Season
American Theater Company in Chicago announced that Michael Thomas Newberry is its new executive director, and that David Cromer will direct the Chicago premiere of Celebrity Row, which has been added to its season.

Five new actors have also been added to the collective, which has a mission of asking, "What is it to be an American?"

Newberry joins artistic director PJ Paparelli for his first full season as ATC embarks upon its ambitious season 24, which includes an expanded mainstage season, new Ensemble Members and a bold new logo design.

Newberry, formerly the deputy director of Chicago Shakespeare, began at ATC in early August.

Julie Saltzman, ATC's general manager for the past two years, was promoted to the position of producing director Aug. 1. Saltzman's new responsibilities include managing daily fiscal and production activities.

Newberry, 31, comes to American Theater Company after three years as deputy director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, recipient of the 2008 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. During his tenure, he managed artist and union relations, led the development of a new website, expanded the DePaul University/Chicago Shakespeare Theater Arts Leadership Program, and oversaw international presentations of work by Peter Brook, James Thiérrée, Carlo Colla e Figli, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Farber Foundry, and The Chekhov International Theatre Festival, among others. Previously, he worked with Teach for America as an elementary and middle school teacher and as development director for the Arizona region. He has also worked with Childsplay, a theatre for young audiences in Arizona, and with Future Tenant, a laboratory space for emerging visual, literary and performance artists in Pittsburgh. Newberry holds a master's degree in arts management from Carnegie Mellon University.

ATC also announced new Ensemble Members, including Sadieh Rifai, Kareem Bandealy, Casey Campbell, Tania Richard and Joe Minoso.

"Tania, Casey, Kareem, Joe and Sadieh usher in the new era at ATC," Paparelli stated. "Their talent inspires, their passion is infectious, and their commitment to serving and challenging our audience shines in their deeply personal approach to their work onstage. The addition of these talented Chicagoans has energized our weekly Ensemble meetings and focused our 29 member collective on exploring the core question of our mission 'What does it mean to be an American?'"

The Chicago premiere of Celebrity Row, Itamar Moses' new play, directed by David Cromer, will run Oct. 16-Nov. 9, and will feature ATC Ensemble Member Joe Minoso, Usman Ally, Larry Neumann, Jr., and Kelli Simpkins.

Moses will be celebrating premieres of three of his plays this fall: Yellowjackets will premiere at Berkeley Rep; Back, Back, Back will premiere at The Old Globe in San Diego and then move to Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City.

According to ATC, "Combining the suspense of 'Silence of the Lambs' with the political savvy of ATC's Speech & Debate, Itamar Moses and David Cromer, critically acclaimed director of The Adding Machine (Next Theatre) and Our Town (The Hypocrites), explore issues of homeland security and individual freedoms in one of the most dazzling cliffhangers in modern drama."

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