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Chicago Dramatists Names Carson Grace Becker Artistic Director

The theatremaker and arts educator, who began her playwriting career at the organization, will start the new post in May.

CHICAGO: Chicago Dramatists has announced Carson Grace Becker as its new artistic director. Becker, who lives in Butte, Mont., and launched her playwriting career at Chicago Dramatists in the 1990s, will relocate to the Windy City this May. The artistic director position has been vacant since interim artistic director Dana Lynn Formby stepped down in September of 2018.

Carson Grace Becker.

“Carson has a distinguished career, an astute and creative mind, and is a long-time member of the Chicago Dramatists community,” said Ajitha L. Reddy, president of Chicago Dramatists’ board of directors, in a statement. “She has a natural ability to relate to and nurture playwrights and other artists, no matter where they are in their artistic journeys. That skill, her formidable talent and networks, her warmth and authenticity, and her ability to bring people together led her to the top of the list of impressive candidates.”

The playwright, screenwriter, dramaturg, and arts educator currently splits her time between Butte, Mont., Los Angeles, and Chicago. She’s the founder of Montana’s the Root & The Bloom Collective, she is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College, Roosevelt University, and Chicago Dramatists, and she has also taught at the University of Chicago’s Graham School and Roosevelt University. Becker has served as literary manager for Honolulu Theatre for Youth and as the program manager for the Educational Outreach and the Network Playwrights programs at Chicago Dramatists. She holds an MFA in playwriting from the University of Iowa.

“Chicago Dramatists was my first artistic home, and helped launch my career,” said Becker in a statement. “As a collective of playwrights and artistic associates, it nurtured and challenged my craft, provided collaborative opportunities, and gave me room to play, think, experiment, succeed, and fail. Such spaces are more important than ever now in our American landscape. I’ve been many places since my beginnings at Dramatists. It is both an honor and pleasure to accept this position, and I can’t wait to return.”

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