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Jackalope Theatre Announces Big Changes Including New Artistic Director

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Photo: Jackalope Facebook

A number of changes have been announced at Jackalope Theatre Co., 1106 W. Thorndale Ave., in Edgewater.

Gus Menary, one of the theatre’s founding members, will be its new artistic director. Additionally, longtime collaborators Paloma Nozicka and Corinne Bass have been named its newest company members.

“I’m absolutely honored and thankful to Jackalope for the opportunity to lead in this official capacity,” Menary said.

He will be the theater company’s third artistic director since it was founded in spring 2008 and had been serving as its interim artistic director since March 2015.

“I will endeavor to ensure Jackalope continues the great work we’ve been known for over the past eight years,” Menary added.

Menary was recently named as one of The Fifty People Who Really Perform for Chicago by Newcity Stage, alongside artistic directors Robert Falls, Anna Shapiro, Barbara Gaines, Chay Yew, and Michael Halberstam.

A founding member and Director of Theatre Programming for The Inconvenience, Menary also recently directed Andrew Swanson’s “Lunacy!” and Ike Holter’s “Exit Strategy,” (for which he received a Jeff nomination for best director.)

He has worked with many theaters in Chicago including Mary-Arrchie, Abraham Werewolf, Strawdog Theatre Co., First Floor, Pinebox, The New Colony, American Blues, LiveWire Chicago, and American Theatre Co.

“Since taking the helm in the spring of 2015, Gus has done an extraordinary job of cultivating new work, engaging our company members, and programming a Jackalope season that speaks to the most important issues of today,” Managing Director Nate Silver said.

“Thinking about which individual is the right choice for Jackalope’s future, we unanimously agreed Gus’ experience as a curator, director, and as a Jackalope founder make him uniquely suited to take on this responsibility.”

Meanwhile, new company member Nozicka most recently appeared in Jackalope’s “Exit Strategy,” where she originated the role of the fast-talking, no-holds-barred Jania, and “Long Way Go Down.”

Bass, another new company member, has designed props for several Jackalope productions in recent seasons, including “Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake),” “Lunacy!,” “The Raid,” and “Rolling.”

“We are thrilled to welcome Corinne and Paloma, two great friends and collaborators, into the fold,” Menary said. “Both embody the creativity, positivity, and commitment to high artistic standards that remain core Jackalope values.”

In addition to her work with Jackalope, Nozcika has appeared in “Teddy Ferrara” at the Goodman Theatre, “Antigonick” at Sideshow Theatre, and “The Play About My Dad” at Raven Theatre. Recent TV credits include “Chicago PD” and “Empire.”

In addition to her work with Jackalope, recent projects for Corinne Bass include the set design for the Off-Broadway premiere of “The Lilliput Troupe,” and “Les Parents Terribles” at the Artistic Home. Bass is also the Audience Development Coordinator at Lookingglass Theatre Company.

Jackalope Theatre Co. is currently in its eighth season. It was founded by three senior directing managers at Columbia College Chicago who were tasked with creating a fictional theatrical production company as part of a class project.

The theater is comprised of Kaiser Ahmed, Corinne Bass, Elana Boulos, Andrew Burden Swanson, Jon Cohen, Alexander Hand, William Kiley, Daniel Martinez, Gus Menary, Paloma Nozicka, Claire Sangster, Nate Silver, Danielle Stack, Calamity West, and Patrick Whalen.


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