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Jerald Raymond Pierce. (Photo by Dominique Hildebrand)

Jerald Raymond Pierce to Return as American Theatre’s Chicago Editor

A former editor for this magazine from Chicago, Pierce will lead coverage of the Midwest’s great theatre city and its wider impact and influence.

CHICAGO: In one sign of a larger turnaround at American Theatre, arts journalist and editor Jerald Raymond Pierce will return as the magazine’s Chicago editor, effective May 22. Pierce previously worked as AT‘s first non-New York-based full-time employee, editing and reporting for the magazine from Chicago from January 2020 to January 2022. The new position, funded by the Skokie, Ill.-based Walder Foundation, is part of a more intentional effort to cover Chicagoland performing arts and its impact locally, regionally, and nationally.

“I’m incredibly honored and excited to re-join TCG to help usher in this new chapter for American Theatre magazine,” said Pierce in a statement from Seattle, where he has worked for the last two years as arts and culture writer for The Seattle Times. Of his time there he said, “I’m grateful to the Seattle theatre and arts community for welcoming me in and sharing their art and stories with me. It’s been a wonderful reminder of why I love the work that American Theatre does: uplifting the often overlooked stories of the theatres and theatremakers creating innovative and thoughtful work in the regions. I look forward to continuing that effort, celebrating theatre’s triumphs while also holding it to account. It’s long been a dream of mine to cover Chicago theatre and the art and artists of my hometown region of the Midwest, helping to ensure they get the thoughtful coverage they deserve. I can’t wait to get to work.”

Pierce will report and edit news and features from Chicago with the help of a part-time associate editor and a pool of freelance writers, and will help curate a weekly column and newsletter about Chicago theatre. The focus on the Midwest’s great theatre city will culminate with the Theatre Communications Group’s 2024 conference in the Windy City next June. The move comes as American Theatre is also working to return the magazine to a print edition after two years of publishing online only.

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