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American Theater Company Names Will Davis Its New Artistic Director

The New York-based director will make his move to the Windy City to helm American Theater Company.

CHICAGO: American Theater Company (ATC) has named Will Davis as its new artistic director, effective immediately. He succeeds interim artistic director Bonnie Metzgar, who filled the position after the sudden death of PJ Paparelli last May.

Will Davis.
Will Davis.

“After a thorough and thoughtful national search, I’m extremely thrilled to welcome Will to ATC and the Chicago theatre community,” said ATC board president Art Cunningham in a statement. “His passion, artistic excellence, and creative vision align perfectly with our goal of producing cutting-edge work that both challenges and entertains. We’re very fortunate to have someone of Will’s caliber drive ATC forward and build upon our artistic and educational achievements.”

Davis is a director and choreographer known for physically adventurous works. He holds a BFA in theatre studies from DePaul University and an MFA in directing from the University of Texas—Austin. His recent directing projects include Sorry Robot for PS122’s COIL Festival, Men on Boats for Clubbed Thumb‘s Summerworks, which will receive a remount at Playwrights Horizons this July. He also helmed Colossal at Mixed Blood Theatre and the Olney Theatre Center, for which he received a Helen Hayes Award for outstanding direction. He is an alum of the Writer/Director Lab at Soho Rep, and the NYTW 2050 Directing Fellowship. He is currently the artist-in-residence at Brooklyn Arts Exchange, where he is developing new work.

“It is a great privilege to join the ATC family and to be entrusted with leading the company forward,” said Davis in a statement. “ATC’s mission to answer the question, ‘What does it mean to be an American?’ invites us to make work aimed straight at the heart of the present moment, and provides a vital touchstone for us as citizens and art makers. I intend to deepen this conversation and ask what we are making, how we are making it, and who we are making it for. I feel a great resonance with the company’s staff and board, and I look forward to asking these questions together, lifting up ATC’s legacy, and strengthening its reputation as a hub for ambitious and excellent works for the American theatre.”

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