CHICAGO: Victory Gardens Theater announced that the company’s managing director Christopher Mannelli will depart for Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y., to assume the position of executive director and partner with artistic director Mark Cuddy as co-C.E.O. Mannelli will leave Victory Gardens on Feb. 26, and the board of directors at Victory Gardens has begun a national search for Mannelli’s replacement.
“The board sought an individual who will further strengthen Geva’s finances, increase and diversify audiences, and maximize Geva’s soon-to-be-renovated theatre spaces,” Joanna Grosodonia, of the Geva Theatre board of trustees, said in a statement. “We believe we have found the right person to co-lead Geva with artistic director Mark Cuddy as Geva embarks on an exciting new physical transformation and continues to produce high caliber theatrical productions, educational programs, and community outreach.”
Prior to Victory Gardens, Mannelli served as the deputy director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and the managing director for the now closed HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, Mo. He joined Victory Gardens in 2011 as general manager, was appointed as the interim managing director in 2012, and assumed the role officially in 2013. As managing director, Mannelli led the reorganization of the institution and the planning, fundraising, and audience development initiatives that have created the theatre’s new business model.
“Chris Mannelli has been a wonderful partner to me and our board,” said artistic director Chay Yew in a statement. “Together, we have helped create financial stability for Victory Gardens, made our theatre a national venue for new American plays, and advocated passionately for equity and diversity within the organization.”