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Tosha Fowler Named New Associate Artistic Director of Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company

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Tosha Fowler Named New Associate Artistic Director of Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company

Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company, entering its 28th season, announces major changes to its company and infrastructure. Carlo Lorenzo Garcia, who served as the industrious Producing Director since 2008, has relinquished his duties to pursue other personal endeavors but is to remain a company member and consultant. Mary-Arrchie is proud to name Tosha Fowler as Associate Artistic Director.

Fowler will assist Artistic Director Richard Cotovsky, recent recipient of the Joseph Jefferson Lifetime Achievement Award, in restructuring the company so that it may thrive for years to come. Mary-Arrchie is also excited to announce Elyse Cowles, Brian Crawford, Claire Meyers, Stefin J. Steberl and Will Von Vogt as additions to the company administration.

"I firmly believe that the Chicago Storefront Scene is essential to the forward movement of American Theatre," Fowler states. "The 28 year history of Mary Arrchie Theatre and Rich Cotovsky's long involvement with the Chicago Theatre Community speaks for itself. Many Chicago theater artists over the years have climbed up the stairs to Angel Island and descended an artist forever changed. Whether it be from watching a ground-breaking production, through the sweat and labor of creating a set, or performing at Abbie Fest in the wee hours of the morning, artists young and old, successful and just beginning, have had the invaluable opportunity to rub elbows and exchange ideas. My goal is to partner with Rich to strengthen the core of Mary-Arrchie and build an infrastructure so that the company will evolve and exceed expectation for years to come. We will cultivate a home for our proven theater veterans so that they can take exciting risks. We will also provide opportunities for up-and-coming artists so that they will challenge us to envision the many possibilities for the future of theatre."

Tosha Fowler is the co-founder of COR Theatre, where she produced and acted in the critically acclaimed Skin Tight by Gary Henderson. The Chicago Tribune reviewed the show as an "emotional wringer... that truly impresses." Also with COR, she co-produced, wrote, and performed in her original solo show, Mami, Where'd my O go?

Fowler has produced theatre for almost ten years for companies including The Chicago Fringe Festival, The Academy Theatre in Atlanta, and her founding company, Fowl Brick in Savannah, GA. As an actress, Fowler has performed in Chicago with Lifeline Theatre, Emerald City, MPAACT, Cock & Bull, and Circle Theatre. She has also toured throughout the Southeast, where notable performances include Roberta in Shanley's Danny and the Deep Blue Sea, and Laura in The Glass Menagerie. Savannah Morning News hailed Fowler as having "elegant simplicity, even as the emotions run wild," "subtle but steely strength," and "impeccable comic timing." Fowler has worked as a playwright with American Theatre Company's Chicago Chronicle Project, the DePaul University Diversity Initiative, and the Academy Theater. She has directed plays including, A Doctor's Stories, Poof!, Bash, and Bully Breakdown in HD.

Fowler is an adjunct professor in Theatre at DePaul University, and she holds an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School at DePaul.

Elyse Cowles is joining as Literary Manager and working in Social Media. Cowles has both Chicago directing and dramaturgy credits including Counterfeiters (Dog and Pony), CLEAR (About Face), A Midsummer Night's Dream (The Theatre School) and The Brothers Karamazov (Lookingglass.) She is a graduate of the Theatre School at DePaul University, where she studied Playwriting and New Play Development. Elyse is currently writing a piece, She Carries Herself with the Good Night Ladies, Eve Rydberg and Jessica Marks. Elyse works as the Digital Marketing Coordinator for a holistic PT clinic in Lincoln Park, and is originally from Solana Beach, CA. Elyse is interested in how modern technology effects theatrical experiences, processes, and performance, especially how mobile technology effects a theatrical event/ performance.

Brian Crawford is heading up Fundraising Events. Crawford is a Chicago based actor, teacher, movement coach and creator. As of late, Brian is a teaching artist for American Theater Companies Bridge and Mosaic Programs, is proudly represented by Big Mouth Talent, and up next will be performing in Assistance with LiveWire Theater Company at the DCA Storefront. Chicago acting credits include work with Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Dog & Pony, Live Wire, The Side Project, and Collaboraction. Regional acting credits include The Alliance Theater, Actor's Express, Theatre Emory, 7 Stages, and Witness Relocation. Brian is also a Company Member of Atlanta's highly physical Out of Hand Theater, with whom he has built several original projects. As an educator Brian has worked with Piccolo Theater, Moorehouse College, Emory University and 7 Stages Theater. He holds an MFA in Acting from The Theatre School of DePaul University and is also a recipient of the Louis B. Sudler Prize in the Arts. Brian is particularly interested in the intersection between athletics and theater and how this effects an audience.

Claire Meyers is working as an administrative assistant in the fields of management and development. Meyers is graduating with a degree in Theatre Management from DePaul. She has worked in a managerial capacity with Minneapolis Children's Theatre Company, Lookingglass, and is currently working with Chicago Arts Partnership in Education. She serves as Lab Coordinator/Producer for The Theatre School's Theatre Studies LAB Series and Event Assistant for The Theatre School's Graduate Showcase. Outside of school, Claire enjoys cooking and finding any excuse to be outdoors.

Stefin J. Steberl is joining as resident Costume Designer and managing Social Media. Steberl is a costume and scenic designer for theater and film based out of Chicago. Steberl's recent Chicago credits include Mary-Arrchie's productions of Glass Menagerie, Superior Donuts, and The Brig. Other regional credits include, Sweet Confinement, Too Much Memory, Days of Late (SiNNERMAN Ensemble) Our Bad Magnet, Mud People, Riff Raff, Red Light Winter (Mary-Arrchie) Long Day's Journey..., The White Airplane (Polarity Ensemble) The Scarlet Ibis, Pull of the Moon (16th Street Theater) La Cage Aux Follies (Bohemian Ensemble) Summer and Smoke, Bus Stop (The Den). Steberl is currently the Co-Artistic Director of SiNNERMAN Ensemble. Steberl was previously the resident designer for Columbia College's Spectacle Fortuna and studied in Columbia College Chicago's Theatrical Design Program.

Will Von Vogt is an actor, writer, producer and casting director hailing from Kennebunkport, Maine. He received his training from the Theatre School at DePaul University with a BFA in Acting. Favorite acting credits include Romeo and Juliet, The Heidi Chronicles, Blur, The Altruists, Empire Falls(HBO), and Google Me Love (produced by the Wachowskis). He also spent three years in New York City, working in casting and as a talent manager, representing Tony, Emmy, and Oscar winning actors for both stage and film. Will is on the producing team of Salonathon, a performance series happening every Monday at Beauty Bar Chicago. Will is excited to be back in Chicago and is excited to bring new work that supports a broad spectrum of stories representing gender, origination, and race to the store front scene.

With these new additions, Mary-Arrchie plans to develop an aggressive strategic plan to advance areas including board development, website and box office management, season planning, grants and fundraising initiatives, and ensemble building. These goals will secure Mary-Arrchie's pivotal presence in Chicago Storefront Theatre and provide the foundation for many more successful productions in the future.

Mary Arrchie is committed to continue creating cutting edge theatre like Superior Donuts and The Glass Menagerie, as well as producing the infamous Abbie Hoffman Died For Our Sins Theater Festival next year being the 26th annual event in their 28th season of theater.

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