Strawdog Theatre Company’s Board of Directors today announced the appointment of Leda Hoffmann as the company’s new Artistic Director and Charlotte Thomas as their new Managing Director. Hoffmann succeeds the “Artistic Vision Committee,” Michael Dailey, Heath Hays and Anderson Lawfer, established in 2016 following the resignation of Artistic Director Hank Boland. Charlotte Thomas succeeds Managing Director Leah Barish, who stepped down in late 2018.
Strawdog is also pleased to welcome new Board President Jennifer Nelson, Development Associate Morayo Orija and Front of House and Facilities Coordinator Mark Maxwell.
Comments Board President Jennifer Nelson, “Having entered our thirties and settled into our current home on Berenice Ave., we are excited to welcome new leadership at Strawdog. We are thrilled to have Leda join us as Artistic Director. She brings a wide range of experience to this role as a well-respected theatre director, producer and educator. She is familiar with the world of storefront theater and will also bring ideas and best practices from her time at Milwaukee Rep. We know that Leda will build upon 30+ years of artistic excellence at Strawdog to challenge us and grow our community – two of our core values. Charlotte is a passionate and experienced theatre leader and community advocate. With a background in marketing, audience engagement and customer service, we are excited to have Charlotte bring her talent, skills and creativity to Strawdog as managing director. We look forward to the strong leadership these two women will provide. We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Michael Dailey, Heath Hays and Anderson Lawfer for providing seamless artistic leadership over the past two years during our move from Lakeview to Northcenter.”
Leda Hoffmann (Artistic Director) served on Milwaukee Rep’s Artistic staff for seven years, working in the Education and Literary departments before founding Milwaukee Rep’s Community Engagement Department. As the Director of Community Engagement, Leda envisioned and executed the Community Conversations program, enriching audience experiences with robust small group dialogue; started Milwaukee Rep’s Professional Training Institute; and developed long-term sustainable community relationships through the Pillar Partner program. As the Artistic Director of Luminous Theatre, Leda produced and directed site-specific productions of Mr. Burns: A Post-Electric Play and The Penelopiad. Since moving to Chicago, Leda has been directing and teaching with Mudlark Theater, Northbrook Park District and Skyline Studios. Leda’s work as a director has been seen across the Midwest at Milwaukee Rep (A Christmas Carol, Black Pearl Sings!, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, The Amish Project), Illinois Shakespeare Festival (Hamlet), Door Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet), Milwaukee Chamber Theatre (A Lovely Sunday for Creve Coeur), Renaissance Theaterworks (Censored on Final Approach), The Alchemist Theatre (The Chairs, King Lear), Max and Louie Productions (Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill) and Riverside Theater Iowa City (Birth Witches). Leda is a proud graduate of Grinnell College, a former Milwaukee Rep directing intern, former Hartford Stage apprentice, SDCF Observer, a member of Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab and an Artistic Associate with Kokandy Productions. Upcoming Chicago productions include The Amish Project at the Jedlicka Performing Arts Center and Bobbins and Thread at Mudlark Theater.
Charlotte Thomas (Managing Director) has been working in the Chicago theatre scene for more than four years, as an actress, producer and marketing director. Favorite Chicago companies she has worked with include Steppenwolf, Rivendell, Route 66, Steep and The Sound. She is also an ensemble member at Commission Theatre. Previously in Boston, Charlotte worked at New Repertory Theatre and Company One Theatre. She is a proud graduate of Boston University.
About Strawdog Theatre Company
Since its founding in 1988, Strawdog Theatre Company has offered Chicagoland the premiere storefront theatre experience and garnered numerous Non-Equity Jeff Awards with its commitment to ensemble acting and an immersive design approach. The celebrated Company develops new work, re-imagines the classics, melds music with theatre, asks provocative questions and delivers their audience the unexpected.
Strawdog Theatre Company is supported in part by The MacArthur Fund for Arts & Culture at the Richard H. Driehaus Foundation, the Gaylord and Dorothy Donnelley Foundation, the Alphawood Foundation, The Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation and the Illinois Arts Council Agency.
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