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Gabrielle Randle-Bent Named Associate Artistic Director at Court Theatre

A dramaturg and co-director, she’ll advise on season planning, manage new-work development, and lead a new engagement division for the South Side Chicago theatre.

CHICAGO: In July the Court Theatre welcomed Gabrielle Randle-Bent as its new associate artistic director. A director and dramaturg with several credits at the theatre, Randle-Bent will work alongside artistic director Charles Newell and executive director Angel Ysaguirre. Randle-Bent’s role will include advising on season planning for the theatre, managing the development of new work, and setting and articulating new engagement strategies as a part of the engagement division the theatre is introducing.

Randle-Bent’s previous work at the Court includes dramaturgy for the theatre’s productions of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf, and Oedipus Rex. Directing credits include co-directing Court’s production of The Tragedy of Othello with Newell, directing Eve. L Ewing’s 1919 for Steppenwolf for Young Adults (upcoming), and The Year of Magical Thinking at Remy Bumppo.  

Gabrielle Randle-Bent.

Randle-Bent holds a B.A. from Stanford University in drama and an M.A. in performance as public practice from University of Texas at Austin. She is currently a Ph.D. Candidate at Northwestern University and a senior lecturer in the theatre and performance studies program at the University of Chicago. She is a co-founder of the Civic Actor’s Studio, a leadership program of the University of Chicago’s Office of Civic Engagement.

“It is a privilege to be able to invest in a place that has invested so much in me, and it’s an honor to be in this position,” said Randle-Bent in a statement. “The opportunity to learn from Charlie, the incredible artists and staff at Court, and the faculty collaborators at the university, is a real gift. More than anything, my love affair with Court has led to a love affair with the South Side of Chicago, and I would love for this theatre to truly, and fully—whatever that means, because I’m not the one who gets to define it—be a reflection of the communities that make this one of the most spectacularly alive places that I’ve ever been. That’s what I’m most looking forward to as associate artistic director.” 

Newell said in a statement, “It is my tremendous pleasure to welcome Gabby to the Court team as our associate artistic director. She is an immensely talented artist and fabulous fellow collaborator. Her singular clarity of vision sets her apart and makes her an asset in any given room. She will bring a refined artistic eye, academic excellence, and a level of expertise that will usher us into an exciting and bright future. I am overjoyed that she will be a part of Court’s artistic leadership.” 

“I am thrilled that Gabby Randle-Bent will join Court Theatre as the associate artistic director,” said executive director Ysaguirre in a statement. “Her approach to engagement has been instrumental in the programming the theatre does, but also in the foundational ways in which we think of ourselves as a classic theatre company. We are incredibly lucky that she’s joining us as a full-time member of our team, and we are overjoyed. This is a very exciting moment for the theatre, and we can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together.” 

Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. The theatre is committed to recognizing, addressing and eradicating racism to better serve the South Side community. Its current budget stands around $6 million.  

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