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Theater Design Leader Charcoalblue Opens Chicago Studio

Theater Design Leader Charcoalblue Opens Chicago Studio

International theatre, acoustic and digital design consultancy Charcoalblue will open their new Chicago studio in January in response to a growing portfolio of projects currently underway in the city and surrounding regions.

Based in the heart of the West Loop district on West Madison Street, the studio will bring Charcoalblue's innovative auditorium design, engineering, acoustic and digital design experience to the region's venues, schools and workplaces. The new studio will be lead by Studio Principal Clemeth Abercrombie who is currently on the design team for the redevelopment of Massey Hall in Toronto and the Southern Repertory Theatre in New Orleans and Steppenwolf in the city.'

The decision to open a new studio in the city is bolstered by a portfolio of current projects in the region including the recently opened Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, the Obama Presidential Library and Arkansas' TheatreSquared.

'Chicago has always been a special place for Charcoalblue.' said Managing Partner Andy Hayles. 'From our first commission from the great and greatly missed Martha Lavey, through the amazing collaborations with Criss Henderson and Barbara Gaines on the new Yard Theatre for Chicago Shakes and with Anna Shapiro and David Schmitz on Steppenwolf's new theatre - we have found theatre makers whose vision chimes as one with ours. Namely, to make extraordinary theatre spaces for extraordinary work.'

The company have also announced the promotion of Jerad Schomer as Studio Principal in New York. Schomer takes up the role following more than ten years of professional experience in the performing arts including five years as Technical Project Manager at the Metropolitan Opera. His current design projects include the new Perelman Center for the Performing Arts at the World Trade Center in New York City.

Acoustician Byron Harrison is the latest addition to the Board of partners. Harrison established Charcoalblue's Acoustics team in 2010 and was an integral part of the design team for The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare Theater and St Ann's Warehouse in Brooklyn, NY. He oversaw Charcoalblue's selection as Acoustician for London's iconic St Paul's Cathedral.

'Following the opening of the yard at CST and our continuing work with Steppenwolf, we couldn't have arrived at a more exciting time for theatre in the city. I'm thrilled to continue to contribute to the theatrical landscape of Chicago and beyond alongside my colleagues from around the globe.'

Clemeth Abercrombie

Chicago Studio Principal

Charcoalblue

'Chicago has always been a special place for Charcoalblue. From our first commission from the great and greatly missed Martha Lavey, through the amazing collaborations with Criss Henderson and Barbara Gaines on the new Yard Theatre for Chicago Shakes and with Anna Shapiro and David Schmitz on Steppenwolf's new theatre - we have found theatre makers whose vision chimes as one with ours. Namely, to make extraordinary theatre spaces for extraordinary work.

Opening our new studio in the City with our amazing Studio Principle, Clemeth Abercrombie, feels like coming home.'

Andy Hayles

Managing Partner

Charcoalblue

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