Writers’ Theatre Artistic Director Michael Halberstam co-founded the theater in 1992 and has been fueling its creative growth ever since. In 2007, he was joined by Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, one of the most innovative leaders in the country, making Writers’ Theatre one of Chicago’s most successful and intimate theaters.
Kathryn M. Lipuma joined Writers’ Theatre as its Executive Director in March 2007 where she is responsible for overseeing all administrative, fiscal and institutional matters, including budgeting, marketing, fundraising, board development and strategic planning. Currently, she is leading the planning and creation of a new state of the art theater complex which will be the future home for Writers’ Theatre’s two venues, rehearsal and administrative spaces. Lipuma is partnering with internationally renowned architect and recent MacArthur Fellow or “Genius Grant” recipient Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang Architects on the project. Prior to Writers’, Lipuma spent nine seasons with the award-winning Signature Theatre Company in New York where she was Executive Director. At Signature, she produced award-winning revivals of Horton Foote’s The Trip to Bountiful, August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Lanford Wilson’s Burn This and worked with such acclaimed writers as Edward Albee, Lee Blessing, Horton Foote, Maria Irene Fornes, John Guare, Bill Irwin, Romulus Linney, Paula Vogel, August Wilson and Lanford Wilson. During her tenure, the organization enjoyed consistent growth and recognition as well as the launch of Signature Theatre Company’s successful $15 Ticket Program. Prior to her time at Signature, she spent six years with Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Ms. Lipuma has been a guest lecturer on arts management in the graduate programs at New York University, Marymount Manhattan College and Northwestern University and has acted as management and fundraising consultant for many not-for-profit organizations. She has served on numerous arts and funding panels, including the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the Philadelphia Theatre Institute for the Pew Charitable Trust, the Multi-Arts Production (MAP) Fund, supported by the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation, the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and the Commercial Theatre Institute/Chicago Producing Conference. Lipuma currently serves on the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the League of Chicago Theatres, the trade association representing more than 200 Chicago-area theater companies and producers and Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization consisting of more than 400 not-for-profit theaters. She is also the co-creator of DoNORTH, a new umbrella organization joining four cultural neighbors - Chicago Botanic Garden, Kohl Children’s Museum, Ravinia Festival and Writers’ Theatre - to attract new audiences to the cultural, environmental, and community activities of the North Shore. She is a graduate of The George Washington University in Washington, DC.