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Theater on the Lake Co-Artistic Curators Announced for Summer 2013
Oct 18, 2012

Theatre In The LakeThe Chicago Park District's Theater on the Lake: The Chicago Summer Theater Festival at Fullerton Avenue and Lake Michigan announces the new co-artistic curators to select the 2013 season: Halena Kays, artistic director of The Hypocrites, and Joanie Schultz, freelance opera and theater director.

In June 2012, Theater on the Lake celebrated its 60th anniversary. To mark the occasion and in an effort to foster greater involvement with the local performing arts community, Theater on the Lake kicked off its new rotating, co-artistic curator initiative.

Under the new model, each year two applicants from Chicago's diverse theater scene are chosen through an application process. Together, they select eight plays for the following season and assist with festival programming. Chicago theater fans are also invited to be a part of the process by giving the new curators suggestions through the Chicago Park District's Facebook page.

Michael Patrick Thornton, artistic director and co-founder of The Gift Theatre Company and actor on ABC's Private Practice, and Meghan Beals McCarthy, associate artistic director at Chicago Dramatists, successfully served as the co-artistic curators for this past season.

Theater on the Lake's schedule will be announced in spring 2013.

About the 2013 Co-Artistic Curators

Halena Kays is the artistic director of The Hypocrites, where she both performs and directs. She is the co-founder and former artistic director of Barrel of Monkeys where she created and directed the majority of their public performances, including the critically acclaimed long-running show That's Weird, Grandma. For the Neo-Futurists, Kays directed 44 Plays for 44 Presidents, Burning Bluebeard, co-created and directed Daredevils and Daredevils Hamlet and the premiere of the site specific extravaganza, Fake Lake.

She was recently on stage in The Kid Thing (About Face/ Chicago Dramatists) as well as in Oedipus, Mud and 4.48 Psychosis (The Hypocrites), The Children's Hour (Timeline), The Golden Truffle (Redmoon), and Fair Use and Theatrical Essays (Steppenwolf). She has been nominated for a Jefferson Citation for Best Supporting Actress and Best Direction. Kays is a University of Texas at Austin and Northwestern University graduate and a former member of the Big Apple Circus Clown Care unit.

Joanie Schultz is a Chicago-based freelance director. Most recently she directed the Chicago premiere of Neighborhood 3 at Strawdog Theatre. Upcoming, she is directing The Whale at Victory Gardens and Luther at Steep Theatre, where she is an artistic associate. Last season, she directed the world premiere of fml: How Carson McCullers Saved My Life by Sarah Gubbins at Steppenwolf Theatre; The Girl in the Yellow Dress by Craig Higginson at Next Theatre; Ask Aunt Susan by Seth Bockley for The Goodman Theatre's New Stages Amplified; and the Jeff-nominated production of The Kid Thing by Sarah Gubbins, a co-production of About Face Theatre and Chicago Dramatists. Also recently in Chicago, she directed The Metal Children at Next Theatre; Wreckage and Many Loves for Caffeine Theatre; Shining City for Redtwist Theatre; The Ring Cycle for the Building Stage; and A Perfect Wedding and Stone Cold Dead Serious for Circle Theatre.

Schultz has directed the operas including Acis and Galatea at the Chicago Cultural Center, which was also the first fully staged opera on the Jay Pritzker Pavilion stage in Millennium Park. She holds an MFA from Northwestern University; was a New York Drama League Fellow; The Goodman Theatre's Michael Maggio Directing Fellow; the SDC Denham Fellow; was a participant in the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab; and currently teaches directing at Columbia College Chicago.

Constructed in 1920, the Theater on the Lake building was originally a recuperation ward for babies suffering from tuberculosis and other diseases. During World War II, the structure was then used as a USO Center. After the war, the Chicago Park District used the venue for then-popular barn dances. In 1952, it was converted into the Theater on the Lake performance venue and showcased productions staged by the Park District's many community theater organizations. In 1996, the programming evolved into its current format, and the Chicago Park District began inviting professional theater companies to remount their best works.

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