Bonnie Metzgar leaving About Face Theatre
Metzgar in 2009, with former About Face managing director Rick Dildine
Bonnie Metzgar plans to step down as artistic director of About Face Theatre following the 2012–13 season, the theater's board of directors announced today.
Metzgar took the reins of the LGBTQ-focused About Face in 2008, after founding artistic director Eric Rosen departed for Kansas City Rep. In her tenure, Metzgar has strengthened About Face's ties within Chicago through coproductions with companies like Chicago Dramatists and American Theater Company, expanded the company's core of artistic associates and helped shepherd the theater through.
"I was trying to do some really specific things at About Face, including leading everybody through a transparent process of creating a vision for the next three to five years as a collective," Metzgar said in an interview today. With that process complete, the timing seemed right for a transition, she said. Metzgar, who came to About Face from Brown University and previously worked at New York's Public Theater, says she has no plans yet beyond June but would intends to remain in Chicago (her partner, Rebecca Rugg, is on the artistic staff at Steppenwolf).
About Face's board will launch a nationwide search for Metzgar's successor, though she thinks "there's probably someone really great in Chicago who could step up and take leadership."
Before the end of her tenure next summer, Metzgar will direct the final, to-be-announced show of the season at Victory Gardens's Richard Christiansen Theater. The season also includes the premiere of the holiday musical We Three Lizas, by Scott Bradley and Alan Schmuckler, opening next month at the Steppenwolf Garage, and a remount of About Face Youth Theatre's What's the T?
In a separate announcement today, Victory Gardens Theater said that Jan Kallish will step down as its executive director at the end of November.