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Pictured: Jess McLeod. Photo courtesy of Goodman Theatre.
Goodman Theatre has announced Jess McLeod as the recipient of the 2016/2017 Michael Maggio Fellowship for Chicago-based directors.
McLeod is a Chicago-based director and teacher specializing in new American stories. Chicago credits include: Idris Goodwin’s How We Got On and The Wedding Singer (Haven Theatre); Kumovi and For Your Art: portrait of a young blu artist (Chicago Voices/Lyric Opera of Chicago), Lauren Yee’s in a word (Strawdog Theatre), Shawn Pfautsch’s Season on the Line (The House Theatre of Chicago); Kevin Coval’s L-vis Live! (Victory Gardens); Venus (Steppenwolf Next Up!); Emily Schwartz’s Funeral Wedding: The Alvin Play (Strange Tree Group); and Babes In Arms (Porchlight Revisits); Kin (Griffin); The Pajama Game, Fugitive Songs, Zanna, Don’t! (The Music Theatre Company). Workshops: The Goodman, American Theater Company, Steep Theatre, Stage Left, American Music Theatre Project. Director of Programming, The New York Musical Theatre Festival (2005-08M.F.A., Northwestern University. Upcoming: Marry Me A Little (Porchlight Music Theatre). In addition to her theater credits, McLeod is also a Teaching Artist at Storycatchers Theatre and Program Manager for the annual “Louder Than a Bomb” (LTAB) youth poetry festival, hosted by Young Chicago Authors. The festival attracts more than 1,000 participants from 120 schools and community organizations.
“Now is the time for theater to speak up about Chicago and the country at large, loudly and with a true plurality of voices,” said Jess McLeod, whose recent and upcoming projects include Lyric Unlimited’s inaugural Chicago Voices program and a condensed version of P.J. Paparelli and Joshua Jaeger’s The Project(s) that will tour Chicago Public Schools in a partnership between the National Public Housing Museum and American Theater Company. “As a director dedicated to holding the megaphone, I’m thrilled to spend a year immersed in the artistic life of the Goodman, a theater proud to engage in the American conversation on civic, national and global levels.”
Under the Fellowship McLeod will assist on a Goodman production—from early research and design through the casting and rehearsal process to the opening—and contribute as part of the Goodman’s artistic team. The Fellowship was established to honor the memory of Associate Artistic Director Michael Maggio (1951 – 2000). Previous Maggio Fellows include Vanessa Stalling (2015/2016), Marti Lyons (2014/2015), Erica Weiss (2013/2014), Jimmy McDermott (2012/2013), Anna Bahow (2011/2012), Joanie Schultz (2009/2010), Anthony Moseley (2007/2008), Dado (2006/2007), Ann Filmer (2005/2006), Mignon McPherson-Nance (2003/2004) and Lynn Ann Bernatowicz (2002/2003).