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Sean Graney.

Sean Graney Returns to Hypocrites Helm

The company’s founding director returns to take back the reins from Halena Kays.

CHICAGO: In a dramatic return to the theatre he founded 18 years ago, Sean Graney will resume his post as artistic director of the Hypocrites after just three years away, during which time company member Halena Kays held the post. Graney, who helped create some of the theatre’s signature works—the Gilbert & Sullivan repertory, the Greek tragedy marathon All Our Tragic—spent the intervening years at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard.

Halena Kays.
Halena Kays.

Kays, who will direct the company’s upcoming production of Endgame (Feb. 20–Apr. 4),  said in a statement that she has felt “my own life pulling me in new directions—creating new pieces of physical theatre, directing new work, teaching and most challenging: raising a child.”

Though Graney once told Kris Vire for this magazine that he considered himself “a decent director” but “not a good artistic director,” and that he left in part so a more business-focused artistic director could take the reins, his return is accompanied by the creation of a new “artistic council,” which will include Kays and other longtime company members: Miranda Anderson, Geoff Button and Steven Wilson. The Council will offer “support, expertise and advice to Graney,” according to a press release.

In a statement, Graney said, “When I stepped down three years ago to focus on directing, teaching and writing, I knew the company needed a strong and optimistic leader to flourish—a role which Halena has filled with amazing success.” He also praised the leadership of managing director Megan Wildebour, who will remain.

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