Court Theatre, under the continuing leadership of Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, Court Theatre welcomes Patrese D. McClain as Director of Education and Becca McCracken as Casting Director.
"Patrese and Becca are fantastic additions to the Court family, and we are thrilled to have them join us," said Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director. "Both have been active members of the Chicago theatre community for a long time, and I know that they will bring their unique perspectives and experiences to help us grow the impact of our own theatre."
Patrese D. McClain has been a teaching artist for Court's Artists-in-the-Schools program for several years, working with students across the South Side. She has become a face of Court’s program around the city with partner school teachers, fellow teaching artists, and students. She recently organized Court’s 11th annual Exelon South Side Youth Performance Fest, bringing 66 students to Court's stage to perform—some on stage for the very first time.
Also an accomplished actress, Patrese's select Chicago theatre credits include Tartuffe, The Misanthrope, and Spunk (Court Theatre); Short Shakespeare! Romeo and Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare); Cocked (Victory Gardens); White Guy on Bus (Northlight); and Hang (Remy Bumppo). Regionally, she has appeared in Skeleton Crew (Actors Theatre of Louisville); The Mountaintop (People’s Light); Two Trains Running (GEVA Theatre); and No Child, Pericles, and For Colored Girls (The Black Rep). Patrese’s accomplishments include a Barrymore Award, a St. Louis Theatre Circle Award, and several Joseph Jefferson Award nominations. She holds a BFA from Howard and an MFA from Pennsylvania State University. Patrese is appearing in Remy Bumppo’s HANG through April 29.
In her new role, Patrese will continue working with our lead teaching artists and coaches. Together, they will expand Court's work in the schools and serve our community.
Becca McCracken, C.S.A. has worked hard to develop her casting career and is recognized for her commitment to the Chicago theater community and passion for the industry. During her tenure at Simon Casting, Becca was the director of the theater division as well as casting associate for film, television, and commercial. Her career in the industry includes work as Managing Director of Vagabond School of the Arts, and a plethora of independent casting jobs. Chicago and regional theatre credits include American Blues, Asolo Rep, Florida Studio Theatre, Infusion, Indiana Festival Theater, Indiana Rep, Lyric Opera, Madison Rep, Milwaukee Rep, New Theatre, Paramount, Provision, Silk Road Rising, Syracuse Stage & Writers Theatre. Other casting credits include Spamilton, Million Dollar Quartet, Old Jews Telling Jokes, Evil Dead: The Musical Tour, Broadway In Chicago’s How To Train Your Dragon National Tour, Peter Pan the Show National Tour, Working, Dee Snyder’s Rock & Roll Christmas Tale, Sister Act National Tour, and Mozart the Rock Opera. She is an Artios Award winner for her casting of the Lyric Opera of Chicago’s Carousel.
As Casting Director at Court Theatre, Becca will work closely with Charles Newell, Court’s Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, to leverage her casting experience in the Chicago community and build Court's network of artists.
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. Court endeavors to make a lasting contribution to American theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Court revives lost masterpieces, illuminates familiar texts, and distinguishes fresh, modern classics. Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences. Founded in 1955, Court Theatre has been led by Charles Newell, Marilyn F. Vitale Artistic Director, since 1994.