CHICAGO: Raven Theatre Company has announced Adrianna Desier Durantt as its new managing director. Durantt succeeds previous managing director Markie Gray, who stepped down in April 2023. Cole von Glahn has been serving as interim managing director for the Edgewater theatre since Gray’s departure. Durantt joins Sarah Slight, who took over as Raven’s artistic director at the beginning of July 2023.
“Adrianna comes to Raven with a wide variety of experience in arts leadership and producing” said Slight in a statement. “She and I share a passion for our local and theatrical community that drives us to make Raven a cultural hub for the Edgewater neighborhood and the city of Chicago. After nearly a year of leadership transition, Raven is now poised to move to its next phase.”
“As a resident of Edgewater, with vested interest in the success of this theatre, I am eager to partner with Sarah and the Raven community at this pivotal moment for the organization and the cultural community at large,” said Durantt in a statement. “In part due to the forward-thinking artistic and financial investments Raven has made over the past few decades, this organization is well-positioned to respond and adapt to the evolving needs of the arts sector and theatre community. I am optimistic that together, we’ll be able to advance and cement this treasured organization as the north star of Chicago for new and reimagined work and I look forward to being a part of recentering community and reinvesting in artists by joining Sarah as we turn the page on the next chapter for Raven.”
Previously, Durantt served as founding partner and producing executive director of PARA.MAR Dance Theatre, leading the company’s business strategy, creative development, strategic partnerships, community relationship, brand and identity strategy, fundraising communication, artistic programming, and producing. As a multidisciplinary arts producer and cultural strategist, Durantt’s experience also includes stints as part of Hubbard Street Dance Chicago‘s producing team and working on brand and communication strategy for a number of Chicago companies including 2nd Story, CURE Epilepsy, BPI Chicago, and Northwestern’s theatre MFA program, to name a few. Durantt has also consulted on experimental campaigns for companies such as Teen Vogue, West Elm, Nike, and Pepsi.
“We are pleased Adrianna has agreed to join the theatre as its managing director,” said Stephen Johnson, president of Raven Theatre Company’s board, in a statement. “She brings a wealth of administrative, leadership, and production experience as well as a broad-based artistic sensibility to the organization. I look forward to the impact she will undoubtedly make to the ongoing viability of the theatre.”
Durantt received her BFA in theatrical production from Ithaca Collage and she studied stage design at NYU Tisch’s Design for Stage and Film MFA Program. She holds certificates in innovation and entrepreneurship from both Stanford Graduate School of Business and NYU Stern, where she was a founding member of their Innovation Lab. Durantt also worked with Steppenwolf during its leadership transition and capital campaign around the extension of their campus.
Raven Theatre has a mission to tell the stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. The theatre has been a cultural cornerstone on the North Side of Chicago, and is currently in its 41st season. As of 2021, its budget was around $405,000.
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