American Theater Company names trans artist Will Davis as artistic director

Fri. February 19, 2016 12:53 PM

will davis

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Chicago, IL - Following a six-month national search, American Theater Company's (ATC) Board of Directors has named Will Davis, a 33-year-old transgender artist and alumnus of the Theatre School at DePaul University, its new artistic director.

Currently based in New York, Davis is a director and choreographer known for physically adventurous new works, including the recently announced Off-Broadway run of Jaclyn Backhaus' Men on Boats this summer (a coproduction of Playwrights Horizons and Clubbed Thumb), and two past productions of Colossal by Andrew Hinderaker, for which Davis won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding direction. 

The appointment at ATC marks a return to Chicago for Davis, who holds a BFA in Theatre Studies from DePaul University and served as assistant director for ATC's 2006 production of William Inge's The Dark at the Top of the Stairs.

Davis succeeds ATC's Interim Artistic Director Bonnie Metzgar, who has held the post since the unexpected passing of ATC's longtime Artistic Director PJ Paparelli last May. Davis will collaborate with Metzgar to finalize plans for the company's 2016-17 Season.

"After a thorough and thoughtful national search, I'm extremely thrilled to welcome Will to ATC and the Chicago theater community," said ATC Board President Art Cunningham. "His passion, artistic excellence and creative vision align perfectly with our goal of producing cutting-edge work that both challenges and entertains. We're very fortunate to have someone of Will's caliber drive ATC forward and build upon our artistic and educational achievements."

"It is a great privilege to join the ATC family and to be entrusted with leading the company forward," said Davis. "ATC's mission to answer the question 'What does it mean to be an American?' invites us to make work aimed straight at the heart of the present moment, and provides a vital touchstone for us as citizens and art makers. I intend to deepen this conversation and ask what we are making, how we are making it, and who we are making it for. I feel a great resonance with the company's staff and board, and I look forward to asking these questions together, lifting up ATC's legacy and strengthening its reputation as a hub for ambitious and excellent works for the American theater."

Davis will be among the distinguished guests at ATC's 2016 gala, the Xanadu-inspired affair A Million Lights Are Dancing on April 8, 2016.

From a press release


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