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Windy City Playhouse has promoted Carl Menninger to Associate Artistic Director and appointed David H. Bell as an Artistic Associate. Menninger and Bell are the directing team behind the Playhouse’s 2018 hit “Southern Gothic,” now in its 16th month in Chicago at its new Motor Row home (2229 S. Michigan). The pair will be charged with working on a follow up to “Southern Gothic,” as well as forging relationships with theaters and producers beyond Chicago.
“After supporting the creative needs of the Playhouse since its inception, co-creating the landmark production ‘Southern Gothic,’ supporting ancillary program development and fielding all new work submissions, Carl has become a vital part of the Playhouse’s artistic voice and myself, Managing Director Evelyn Jacoby and our Board are thrilled to formalize this relationship with the new title,” said Artistic Director Amy Rubenstein.
Menninger has served as the Artistic Associate for the Playhouse since the theater’s founding in 2014, and he’s an Assistant Professor of Theatre at American University, in Washington, D.C., where he ran the Theatre and Musical Theatre program for eight years.
Bell — a highly accomplished director, choreographer, and author — heads the Music Theatre Certificate program and the American Music Theatre Project at Northwestern University.
“In his new role, Carl will continue to foster new work (he is a co-author on the ‘Southern Gothic’ team’s next piece, currently in development) and helm certain productions as Director (as he will with ‘The Boys in the Band’),” continued Rubenstein. “He will also be vital as the Playhouse’s leadership looks beyond Chicago, to develop partnerships with producers nation-wide.”
“Meeting and collaborating with David has been one of those ‘kismet’ moments in the Playhouse’s history. He has been vital in establishing the Playhouse’s signature immersive style. He’s also been an unbelievably valuable resource for both me and Carl [Menninger] in season planning, as we work to curate programming choices that will suit our audience-driven perspective,” said Rubenstein. “A long-time friend and sure to be life-long collaborator, I am thrilled to now formally welcome David into the Playhouse cohort.”