CHICAGO: American Theater Company‘s board of directors has named Chicago artist Bonnie Metzgar its new interim artistic director, effective immediately. The board will begin a nationwide search for a new permanent leader, following the unexpected passing of artistic director PJ Paparelli.
“We are pleased to welcome Bonnie back to ATC, where her artistic leadership will be invaluable during this transition,” said board president Nancy Shields in a statement. “Bonnie will help us identify the right leader to carry on PJ’s legacy of developing new work in Chicago and telling vital stories about what it means to be an American.”
Metzgar is a playwright, director, dramaturg and producer. She served as the artistic director of About Face Theatre from 2008 to 2013. She recently directed Anna Deavere Smith’s documentary play Let Me Down Easy at ATC. She is a current meber of Goodman Theatre’s 2014–15 Playwriting Unit. Metzgar was awarded the Carl Djerassi Fellowship in Playwriting by the University of Wisconsin. Her play You Lost Me was a 2014 Finalist for the Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Festival, and was selected for the 2014 Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha.
Metzgar currently serves on the National Advisory Committee for Howlround at ArtsEmerson, and has taught at a number of universities, including Brown, University of Chicago and, currently, DePaul. She received her MFA in Playwriting from the University of Iowa and her BA from Brown.
Paparelli’s acclaimed world premiere The Project(s), a documentary play on Chicago’s public housing, will continue at ATC as scheduled through June 21. The production was conceived, cowritten and directed by Paparelli and cowritten by Joshua Jaeger.