Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins Named New Managing Director of ASC

Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins Named New Managing Director of ASC

Adventure Stage Chicago (ASC) has announced the appointment of Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins as Managing Director. Ms. Barley-Jenkins comes to ASC from the Chicago Humanities Festival, where she served as the Managing Director of Programming and Production. At the CHF, she produced two diverse festivals and year-round humanities and educational programming (150+ events), serving an audience of 55,000 and an online audience of 200,000. She also conceived and was the Artistic Director of Stages, Sights and Sounds, CHF's international performing arts festival for young audiences, which each year reaches thousands of youth and families.

"Mary Kate Barley-Jenkins is no stranger to Adventure Stage," said ASC Producing Artistic Director Tom Arvetis. "We collaborated back in 2008 when CHF commissioned José Cruz González to write The Blue House and Mary Kate approached us to be the producing entity of that world premiere. We've been mutual admirers ever since. Our team couldn't be more excited about the addition of Mary Kate. She brings a wealth of experience to the position that includes an astonishing network of youth-oriented performing artists from all over the world. She cares deeply about the quality of performance that young people and families have access to here in Chicago. Mary Kate's success with Stages, Sights and Sounds [CHF's spring family-focused festival] is a testament to her talent and vision. We are lucky to have her, and we look forward to growing Adventure Stage Chicago under her managerial leadership."

ASC is a program of Northwestern University Settlement House (NUSH), the oldest continually operating settlement house in Chicago. "We are positioning Adventure Stage Chicago to become the face of our Settlement through telling the stories of neighbors and the challenges they face," said NUSH President Ron Manderschied. "It is our intention to build a broad partnership in the community for discussion and engagement around these issues as we all work together to improve our neighborhoods and city. Mary Kate will be leading this important effort."

"Adventure Stage challenges the notion that the creative process of the artist is closed off from the community," said Ms. Barley-Jenkins. "I'm thrilled to join a company that is deeply embedded in its community and consistently challenges itself to do more."

Ms. Barley-Jenkins is the Immediate Past President of International Performing Arts for Youth (IPAY), the premiere membership organization in the world servicing and supporting the professional community of performing arts for young audiences. Prior to joining the CHF, Mary Kate was the Director of Communications for the School of Communication at Northwestern University, where she produced publications, special events, and multi-media projects. She is also an alumna of Northwestern, having graduated with a Masters in Theatre and Arts Administration.

ASC's mission is to create and tell heroic stories about young people. We do this to engage our community and inspire all of us to be heroes in our own lives. Ms. Barley-Jenkins joins ASC just before the opening of the world premiere of SPARK, written by Tom Arvetis and directed by Rives Collins, which runs April 5 - May 8, 2014. This is ASC's tenth season.

ASC is housed at Vittum Theater, 1012 N. Noble St., in the heart of Chicago's West Town neighborhood. For more information about Adventure Stage, please visit us online at

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