Home Theatre AMERICAN THEATRE | Raven Theatre Names Sarah Slight to Be New Inventive Director

AMERICAN THEATRE | Raven Theatre Names Sarah Slight to Be New Inventive Director

AMERICAN THEATRE | Raven Theatre Names Sarah Slight to Be New Inventive Director


Sarah Slight. (Picture by Collin Quinn Rice)

CHICAGO: Raven Theatre Firm has introduced Sarah Slight as its new creative director, efficient July 1. Slight served as interim creative director throughout the second half of the 2022-23 season, following the departure of former creative director Cody Estle, who left the corporate to turn into creative director of Milwaukee’s Subsequent Act Theatre in late 2022.

“Sarah’s work as Raven Theatre Firm’s interim creative director as we carried out the almost seven-month search course of was stellar,” stated board president Stephen Johnson in an announcement. “We’re fairly assured that she’s going to lead the theatre with grace and perception because it solidifies and expands its presence within the creative group.”

An ensemble member at Chicago’s Rivendell Theatre and Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, Slight has labored with new-play growth workshops at Victory Gardens’ Ignition Competition, New Concord Undertaking, Phoenix Theatre, the Playwrights’ Heart, and American Theater Firm. Previous expertise additionally consists of serving as affiliate creative director at American Theater Firm, creative packages supervisor at Northlight Theatre, literary affiliate at Williamstown Theatre Competition, and literary supervisor at Crimson Eye Theater.

“The longer I stayed, the extra I discovered about Raven, the extra I didn’t need to go away,” Slight advised American Theatre about shifting from interim to everlasting creative director. “It felt good to make artwork in a spot that helps new work the way in which Raven does.”

Slight stated she was drawn to Raven’s commissioning program, which is able to launch two world premieres this upcoming season—Paul Michael Thomson’s brother sister cyborg house and the ultimate installment in Joshua Allen’s The Grand Boulevard Trilogy—with two extra commissions within the works. As a new-play dramaturg, Slight has spent her profession supporting the imaginative and prescient of different artists, and he or she stated she’s excited to make use of these abilities to maneuver writers by way of the fee and growth course of and onto full productions in her new function. That stated, she’s additionally enthusiastic about offering Raven’s devoted viewers revivals like Lucille Fletcher’s psychological thriller Night time Watch, which she programmed for this upcoming season. 

“Persons are displaying up, persons are shopping for tickets, and that bodes properly for our future,” Slight stated.

Slight stated that Raven has weathered the pandemic storm fairly properly, rebounding from a funds of round $400,000 as of 2021 to a present funds of a bit greater than $900,000, in accordance with Slight. That is as Raven enters its third season since making the change to being an Fairness firm. Although Slight wasn’t there for the transition, Slight stated the theatre is in a strong place to proceed to maneuver nearer to pay fairness for all artists, a excessive precedence for her in her newly everlasting place.

Slight additionally hopes to make the most of this strong footing to proceed to construct relationships with the theatre’s local people, together with broadening the utilization of the group’s two theatre areas, the 85-seat East Stage and the 56-seat Schwartz Stage. Slight envisions Raven having the ability to provide a wide range of performances of their constructing, like drag exhibits or sketch comedy, alongside their mainstage work. She additionally hopes the constructing may be out there for group organizations which will want a gathering house.

“I’d actually like for Raven to turn into referred to as a cultural hub within the Edgewater/Andersonville group,” Slight stated. “How finest can we make the most of our useful resource, this wonderful house, to offer extra to the group that’s right here? It’s essential to me to proceed to deepen relationships with our surrounding group.”

With Slight’s hiring full, the corporate now pivots to looking for its new everlasting managing director following the Could departure of Markie Grey. Former Raven manufacturing supervisor and creative producer Cole von Glahn has been serving within the function as interim managing director as the corporate searches for the individual will be part of Slight in main Raven into its subsequent chapter.

“I’m going to be working to proceed to make Raven a fantastic place to work and make artwork,” Slight stated. “I’m excited and able to make artwork with the Chicago theatre group.”

Raven Theatre has a mission to inform the tales of at the moment and the previous that join us to our cultural panorama. The theatre has been a cultural cornerstone on the North Facet of Chicago, and is coming into its forty first season.

Jerald Raymond Pierce (he/him) is the Chicago Editor for American Theatre. jpierce@tcg.org

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