Kokandy Announces New Artistic Director, Associates

Kokandy Announces New Artistic Director, Associates

(left to right) Kokandy Productions’ new Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham, with Artistic Associates Adrian Abel Azevedo, Leda Hoffmann and Nik Whitcomb.

Kokandy Productions has announced the appointment of Derek Van Barham as the company’s new producing artistic director, succeeding Allison Hendrix, who served in the position since Kokandy was founded in 2010. Barham previously served as artistic director of The Ruckus and associate artistic director of Pride Films & Plays. Hendrix will remain involved with the company on the board of directors.

Kokandy additionally announced three new artistic associates: Adrian Abel Azevedo, Leda Hoffmann and Nik Whitcomb.

“There have been a number of changes over the last several months that I am excited about,” said Board President Scot Kokandy. “First, I am excited to welcome our new artistic team. All four members are amazing people and wonderful artists and I am thankful they are now a part of Kokandy Productions. Second, I want to thank my fellow board members, both returning and new, who continue to guide and support Kokandy Productions. The board and I feel the new structure will best support and grow the organization over the next several years.”

“I have long appreciated Kokandy’s reputation for excellence, both on stage and behind the scenes,” added Barham. “It is an absolute privilege to join this company, and to lead the organization into its next stage of growth and development. To say I’m excited is an understatement. One of the most exciting aspects of this position is the opportunity to create a team – more voices in the room, more points of view. The Artistic Associates will be such an important part of Kokandy’s growth. In addition to having an artistic investment and being part of programming decisions, the Associates will have a hand in developing other areas of the company, including the New Works Initiative. To the Kokandy board, to the new Artistic Associates, to future Kokandy collaborators, to other artistic directors and musical producers, to the Chicago theatre community and all our audiences – I am thrilled to step into this world and honored to stand in this circle with you. Let’s make magic!”

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