Black Box Acting Changes Hands

Black Box Acting Changes Hands

Black Box Acting’s new co-owners (left to right) Amanda Fink, Andrew Cutler, and Eric Gerard. Photo by Ian McLaren.

Chicago’s Black Box Acting training school today announced a change in ownership. Andrew Cutler, Amanda Fink, and Eric Gerard — all trained through the organization — will succeed co-founders and longtime co-owners Audrey Francis and Laura Hooper, who will remain active in the organization. The company will remain at its current headquarters at 2625 W. North Avenue.

Francis and Hooper began Black Box Acting in 2009 with zero funding, and have built it into what they say is a thriving, profitable arts organization, reaching more than 2500 students over the last decade. In their second year, Francis and Hooper hired and trained at least ten staff members to support growing class sizes. In 2013, they were able to purchase and build out their current space.

“The ethos of Black Box is that it is by and for the next generation of artistic revolutionaries,” said Francis and Hooper in a statement. “To truly commit to our mission, we must recognize when our students have become our leaders. We dreamed for Black Box to be bigger than us as individuals. Today, we see that dream realized. We are thrilled to introduce Eric Gerard, Amanda Fink, and Andrew Cutler as Black Box’s new leadership team. We cannot wait to cheer them on as they lead Black Box into its next decade.”

Cutler, Fink Gerard added that they are “excited to expand upon the remarkable foundation Audrey and Laura have built. Our core values and programming will remain as strong as ever, and we’re committed to increasing accessibility to our classes and bringing new voices into our classrooms.” The new owners will continue to offer the same studio classes in The Black Box Method, as well as the five-month conservatory program. They plan to add more professional development and hands-on application classes to our curriculum.

For additional information, visit

About author


PerformInk is Chicago's entertainment industry trade publication.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *