Today it was announced that after 19 seasons with STC, Executive Director Chris Jennings will become the new Executive Director of Manhattan Theatre Club. He will begin the move from D.C. to NYC in August.
During his tenure here, Chris produced more than 120 productions, guided the company through recessions and the pandemic, received the Regional Theatre Tony Award, toured shows all over the world, and produced STC’s first show to head directly to Broadway.
“Working with Chris has been a dream,” said Artistic Director Simon Godwin. “He has been a tremendous partner, a truly visionary thinker, and a tremendous collaborator, who loves, loves, loves the arts. I know I speak for everyone at STC when I say we will miss him dearly.”
Board Chair Anita Antenucci adds: “Chris’ years of leadership have underpinned STC’s place as an iconic arts organization and teed up our current momentum. Next season’s exciting line-up—including Evita, As You Like It, and Macbeth with Ralph Fiennes and Indira Varma—are the glowing evidence. We will miss Chris enormously, but this community will continue to enjoy the fruits of his immense contribution to D.C.’s arts scene.”
“Thank you for almost two decades of spectacular theatre in D.C.,” said Jennings. “It is with mixed emotions that I head north, but between STC’s dynamic, audacious programming led by Simon’s artistic genius and the most dedicated and talented staff in D.C., I truly believe STC has a bright future ahead.”
Executive Director Chris Jennings is completing his 19th year with Shakespeare Theatre Company having produced more than 100 productions.
Highlights of Mr. Jennings’ time with STC include the construction and opening of Harman Hall, receiving the 2012 Regional Theatre Tony Award, the artistic transition from founder Michael Kahn to Artistic Director Simon Godwin, and guiding the company through the difficult periods of the 2008 recession and the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, returning to live performances after the COVID lockdown, included a celebrated collaboration with the Nederlander organization to stage Once Upon a One More Time, which became the biggest selling show in STC history and which is now in previews on Broadway. Under Mr. Jennings’ leadership, STC toured productions to Macau, the Middle East, and the United Kingdom, including to the RSC. He has developed international collaborations as well, importing high profile productions from South Africa, France, and the UK, most recently represented by the sold-out production of The Jungle.
During his tenure STC launched District Shakespeare, a model accessibility program providing every 10th grader from all 53 D.C. schools the opportunity to experience Shakespeare live on stage.
Mr. Jennings is currently leading a mixed use real estate project, The Bard, to provide consolidated support including actor housing with an anticipated groundbreaking later this year.
He has served on the Board of the Theatre Communications Group, DC Downtown BID, THE ARC, DC Arts Collaborative, and the Penn Quarter Neighborhood Association, and is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (where he has served on AEA and SSDC Negotiating Committees) and the Mid-Atlantic Arts Foundation.