City Lit Names Brian Pastor Executive Artistic Director

Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe will retire on June 30, 2024.

By: Jun. 02, 2023
City Lit Names Brian Pastor Executive Artistic Director

City Lit Board President Daniel Robinson announced that Brian Pastor (they/them), City Lit’s current Resident Director and for nine years its Managing Director, will succeed City Lit’s Producer and Artistic Director Terry McCabe, who will retire on June 30, 2024, following the conclusion of City Lit’s recently announced 43rd season. Pastor will take the new title of Executive Artistic Director.

“Brian has a long and highly successful history with City Lit,” said Robinson, “and as sorry as we are to see Terry go, we look forward to a productive and happy association with Brian.”

Pastor was first hired at City Lit in February 2005 as Business Manager, one week after McCabe was hired as Artistic Director. In 2006 Pastor was promoted to managing director, a position in which they served through June 2015. In 2019 they became City Lit’s Resident Director, and it was Pastor’s production of their own adaptation of Robert Kennedy’s Cuban missile crisis memoir Thirteen Days that was forced to close during previews in March 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic; it reopened in September 2021 to critical acclaim. They also directed City Lit’s productions of John Millington Synge’s The Playboy of the Western World in 2022, Bernard Shaw’s Arms and the Man in 2018, and Archibald MacLeish’s J. B. in 2017. With McCabe, they co-adapted Mark Twain’s Pudd’nhead Wilson for City Lit’s 2008 season. This coming season, Brian will direct City Lit’s world premiere adaptation of Davis Grubb’s gothic thriller The Night of the Hunter, adapted by Shawna Tucker.

As an actor, Pastor has been seen at City Lit in over a dozen productions, including Hauptmann, The Body Snatchers, their own co-adaptation (with Stephen Murray) of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, and The Play’s the Thing, in which they acted alongside McCabe’s predecessor, the late Page Hearn.

“I am incredibly honored to follow in the footsteps of my longtime mentors Page Hearn and Terry McCabe,” Pastor said. “City Lit wouldn’t exist without them. I am grateful for the faith in me shown by Daniel Robinson and the Board, and I look forward to building on the rich foundation laid by my predecessors. For me, City Lit has always felt like home.”

A Founder and long-time Artistic Director of Chicago’s Promethean Theatre Ensemble, Pastor is excited to return to producing stories of vital interest to modern audiences. “As a trans/nonbinary artist, I am committed to telling stories of inclusion, utilizing the rich diversity of the theatrical community to put fresh perspectives to well-known stories. Rest assured, City Lit will continue to be a place to awaken your senses and explore the literary imagination. I’m excited to revisit favorite characters, reimagine timeless classics, and introduce everyone to new worlds, both fantastically different and surprisingly familiar.”


Review: AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical at Kokandy Productions Photo
Review: AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical at Kokandy Productions

Kokandy Productions’ Chicago premiere of AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical is a delectable, campy romp. Producing Artistic Director Derek Van Barham’s production is a mainly bloodless vision for the bloody tale of serial killer finance bro Patrick Bateman — and it’s an approach that works incredibly well for the material. I know that AMERICAN PSYCHO: The Musical was short-lived on Broadway and that that production was a literal bloodbath. The fact that Kokandy’s production substitutes red confetti for stage blood is a microcosm of how well this scrappy interpretation of the musical works: By making the show more camp, less horror story, audiences are then free to indulge in the satire and fun.

The Annoyance Theatre to Present THE EVIL THAT MEN DO Beginning in October Photo
The Annoyance Theatre to Present THE EVIL THAT MEN DO Beginning in October

The Evil that Men Do brings together the best talent at the Annoyance to create a truly unforgettable theatrical experience. Get ticket and event information here!

WHO CHISELED THAT? by Merit Kahn Begins US Tour in Chicago Photo
WHO CHISELED THAT? by Merit Kahn Begins US Tour in Chicago

'Who Chiseled That?' by Merit Kahn will begin performances in Chicago this October ahead of a US tour.

Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at TimeLine Theatre Company/Broadway In Chicago Photo
Review: THE LEHMAN TRILOGY at TimeLine Theatre Company/Broadway In Chicago

THE LEHMAN TRILOGY is a sweeping play that covers 164 years of history as it weaves together fact and fiction to chart the rise and fall of Lehman Brothers. The play’s title mirrors the ambition of the piece: It has a run-time of over three hours that unfolds in three acts — all performed by only three actors. The trilogy in the title is thus a literal reflection of the play’s structure and the roles, but it’s also suggestive of the piece’s mythical nature. Likewise, playwright Stefano Massani’s script (adapted by Ben Power) has a rhythmic storytelling style; the actors often narrate their own stories and actions in a chamber theater type of presentation. Although the run time is long, the fact that THE LEHMAN TRILOGY covers so much ground means it remains interesting throughout — although I found I was ultimately more intellectually than emotionally stimulated.

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