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Writers’ Theatre Hires Studio Gang Architects For New Theatre Building

Writers' Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kate Lipuma announce the hiring of the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects, led by principal Jeanne Gang, FAIA. Chicago's own Studio Gang has been hired to design a new home for Writers' Theatre by researching and developing concepts for the theatre's current site in downtown Glencoe. A Writers' Theatre committee comprised of artists, board and staff conducted a thorough search for an architect, including local, national and international firms, for the project.

"After a rigorous process, we found in Jeanne an architect who embraces, understands and celebrates Writers' Theatre. We look forward to working with Jeanne and her team to develop ideas of what Writers' Theatre could be. We are confident that working with Studio Gang is the right match for the organization and for our community," said Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. "Jeanne has a vision of architecture that is derived from her own equivalent of the word and artist: the material and the environment. It is my belief that Studio Gang offers the opportunity for people to arrive encountering a world class piece of architecture and leave having experienced a world class evening of theatre."

"Over the next several months, our process will involve key stakeholders-trustees, donors, subscribers, patrons and community members-as we work to design a permanent home for our nationally-recognized theatre company," said Executive Director Kate Lipuma. "Writers' Theatre's new facility has the responsibility to resonate with and complement our neighboring Glencoe community and the North Shore's world class cultural institutions-Ravinia Festival, the Chicago Botanic Garden and Kohl Children's Museum. It has the potential to add tremendous value to Chicagoland and the North Shore as a premier cultural destination."

"We are looking forward to collaborating closely with Writers' highly creative team, including Michael Halberstam, Kate Lipuma and the Writers' Theatre Trustees," said Jeanne Gang. "I believe we have the ingredients here for a great project."

Over the past nineteen seasons, Writers' Theatre has become a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence. Under the artistic leadership of Michael Halberstam and the executive leadership of Kathryn M. Lipuma, Writers' Theatre has been deemed the "best drama company in the nation" by the Wall Street Journal and achieved nineteen years of surplus operations. The company, which plays to a sold-out and discerning audience of 35,000 patrons each season, has garnered critical praise for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its artistry. Prized for the finest interpretations of classic and Contemporary Theatre in its two intensely intimate venues, Writers' Theatre's acclaimed work includes artistic director Michael Halberstam's world premiere in Glencoe and subsequent production of A Minister's Wife at Lincoln Center Theater; David Cromer's productions of A Streetcar Named Desire and Picnic; and the commissioning, world premiere and New York premiere of Crime and Punishment, which has received more than 30 subsequent regional Theater Productions.

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Founded by Jeanne Gang, FAIA, in 1997, Studio Gang is a rising international practice whose work confronts pressing contemporary issues. Conceived as a collective of architects, designers, and thinkers, the studio acts as a lab for testing ideas on varying scales: from cities to environments to individual buildings' unique material properties. The firm's provocative and alluring architecture is exemplified by such recent projects as the Aqua Tower (the 2009 Emporis Skyscraper of the Year), Columbia College Chicago's Media Production Center (a cutting-edge film production and teaching facility), and the Nature Boardwalk at Lincoln Park Zoo (an educational pavilion and landscape that is quickly becoming a new Chicago landmark).

The work of Studio Gang has received national and international recognition and has been published and exhibited widely, most notably at the International Venice Biennale, the National Building Museum, and the Art Institute of Chicago. A recent documentary about Aqua and Studio Gang was produced by the Checkerboard Film Foundation as part of their acclaimed Architecture Series. Reveal, Jeanne Gang's first volume on the firm's work and working process, was released by Princeton Architectural Press in April 2011. For more information, visit


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