A Red Orchid Theatre Welcomes Shade Murray as Associate Artistic Director

A Red Orchid Theatre Welcomes Shade Murray as Associate Artistic DirectorA Red Orchid Theatre announces the appointment of Ensemble Member Shade Murray as the company's Associate Artistic Director. Murray's appointment marks the first Associate Artistic Directorship in the company's history. A Red Orchid also welcomes new Development Director Amanda Runge and Audience Services Manager David Marden.

"As we launch into our 25th Anniversary Season, there is no denying that A Red Orchid Theatre is in a period of great growth," comments Managing Director Abigail Madden. "We believe that 25 years is a special thing to celebrate and we want this upcoming season to reflect not only how far we have come, but who we are now as an organization. For us, part of that growth means working to build a strong foundation so the art can continue to thrive. We are thrilled to have new members of the administrative team on board who will contribute to this season and many more to come."

Shade Murray (Associate Artistic Director) is an ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theater, where he has directed the world premieres of Brett Neveu's Pilgrim's Progress and Ike Holter's Sender, as well as David Adjmi's 3C, Marisa Wegrzyn's Mud Blue Sky and The Butcher of Baraboo, Annie Baker's The Aliens, Nick Jones' Trevor, Mike Leigh's Abigail's Party and Kimberly Akimbo by David Lindsay-Abaire. He also performed in the A Red Orchid production of The Mutilated. Other directing credits include Steppenwolf Theatre Company, The House Theater, Steep Theater, Second City, Writers' Theater and elsewhere. Shade is a lecturer at University of Chicago and teaches at DePaul University and Actors' Studio Chicago. As an arts administrator, he has served as Associate Producer at Writer's Theater and Artistic Director of Roadworks Productions where he focused on artistic production, production management, casting and education/outreach.

Amanda Runge (Development Director) comes to A Red Orchid Theatre from a decade-long career in the humanitarian sector, having worked at The Rotary Foundation and ShelterBox USA. At both organizations, she worked in the individual cultivation of gifts and volunteer management. Additionally, she is an opera singer who has performed both nationally and internationally for the last 22 years, including productions at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Third Eye Ensemble, other Chicago performances, and throughout the UK and Germany.

With a passion for the arts and a background in fundraising Runge is excited to merge the two in her new role at A Red Orchid Theatre. She says, "Over the past 25 years A Red Orchid Theatre has been delivering not only a high standard of art, but also art that has the ability to change people and communities. I come to A Red Orchid Theatre with a desire to learn from the successes of the past and be an integral part of moving forward into the next 25 years."

David Marden (Audience Services Manager) joins the staff of A Red Orchid Theatre after serving in the box office and front-of-house teams for Interlochen Center for the Arts, The Second City, and the Ball State University Department of Theatre and Dance. He holds a degree in Acting from Ball State, where his passion for audience services was first cultivated. Since graduating, David has worked in a variety of roles including In-School Suspension Supervisor, Bookseller, and Customer Service Representative. Originally from Indiana, he is in his second year of residing in Chicago and looks forward to working alongside the Red Orchid staff in expanding the Audience Services role.

A Red Orchid Theatre has served as an artistic focal point in the heart of the Old Town community of Chicago since 1993 and was honored this year with a 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions. Over the past 24 years, its Resident Ensemble has welcomed into its fold an impressive array of award-winning actors, playwrights and theatre artists with the firm belief that live theatre is the greatest sustenance for the human spirit. A Red Orchid is well known and highly acclaimed for its fearless approach to performance and design in the service of unflinchingly intimate stories. In addition to its professional season, the company is also committed to an OrKids (youth) project and hosts The Incubator (providing artists with space and time to explore new work, new forms and new artistic collaborations).

A Red Orchid Theatre is: Lance Baker, Kamal Angelo Bolden, Dado, Mike Durst, Jennifer Engstrom, Kirsten Fitzgerald, Joseph Fosco, Steve Haggard, Mierka Girten, Larry Grimm, Karen Kawa, Karen Kessler, Danny McCarthy, Shade Murray, Brett Neveu, Michael Shannon, Guy Van Swearingen, Doug Vickers and Natalie West.

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