CHICAGO – BoHo Theatre is excited to announce Stephen Schellhardt will become BoHo’s new Artistic Director beginning with the 2019 season. Schellhardt has been the Artistic Associate with the company since 2015. He assumes the position from outgoing Artistic Director Peter Marston Sullivan, who will remain with BoHo as the new Artistic Associate.
“While I have absolutely loved being a leader in this fantastic company for almost a decade,” Sullivan says, “I’m afraid it’s come to my attention that I have very little time to do anything other than theatre! Due to my recent nuptials, I thought it might be advantageous to spend a little more time with my wife.”
Peter Marston Sullivan has helmed the company since 2010, when he took over for founding Artistic Director Steve Genovese. During his time as Artistic Director, Sullivan has steered BoHo through a number of major changes. Early in his tenure, he helped retool the company’s mission to focus more specifically on interpersonal relationships. During this time, BoHo also left behind the 30-seat Heartland Studio in Rogers Park to produce more consistently on larger stages at Theater Wit, Stage 773, and the Greenhouse Theater Center. Under his leadership, BoHo has been recognized with 59 Jeff Award nominations. As Artistic Director, Sullivan directed BoHo’s acclaimed productions of BIG RIVER, ICARUS, PIPPIN, FLOYD COLLINS, KISS OF THE SPIDER WOMAN, AMADEUS, and DOGFIGHT. He will also direct 110 IN THE SHADE, which will close out BoHo’s 2018 season this fall.
“Leading a company is not easy,” says BoHo Executive Director Meg Love, “but Peter has made every day fun, exciting, and fulfilling. I am happy that he will remain in the company and continue to give so generously of artistic talents.”
Taking over for Sullivan, Stephen Schellhardt first worked with BoHo on its 10th anniversary celebration in 2014. He became BoHo’s Artistic Associate soon after. His productions with BoHo include DOGFIGHT (choreographer – Jeff nominated), FUGTIVE SONGS (assistant director), URINETOWN (director – Jeff nominated), and creating and directing BoHo’s ongoing cabaret series at Stage 773. Previously, he served as Producer and Casting Director at Writers Theatre in Glencoe, and has directed and choreographed at Timber Lake Playhouse, Summer Theatre of New Canaan, and Ars Nova in New York City. He is a founding member of The Chicago Artists Chorale and a proud graduate of Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama. Currently, Schellhardt is a faculty member at Northwestern, where he recently directed the 87th Annual Waa-Mu show. He is also producing and directing BoHo’s freedom-themed summer cabaret THE OPEN ROAD.
“I am humbled by the trust that the talented, dedicated and energetic Company and Board has placed in me,” Schellhardt says. “I am excited to continue growing BoHo and introducing fresh, inventive programming. In addition to our cabaret series, I am also captivated by the idea of establishing a play-reading series, master classes, and educational outreach for young, aspiring creatives.
Schellhardt also emphasizes his commitment to finding a new permanent theatre space for the company. Over the past three years, the company has been fundraising while actively looking for an adaptable theatre venue to call home. “BoHo is a family,” he says, “and it would be fantastic to establish a landing place where actors and creative artists can return and continue their relationship with us for years to come.”
“I am very excited for this transition,” says Love. “I think the infusion of new blood in leadership positions always holds such promise for new energy and ideas. Stephen brings with him a wealth of knowledge and talent. He has a unique artistic viewpoint that I think is exuberant, fresh and smart. But most of all, he is a joyful human being who so clearly makes the relationships in his life his greatest priority.”
BoHo’s production of Stephen Sondheim and Hugh Wheeler’s A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC is currently playing at the Greenhouse Theater Center through July 8th. BoHo will close out its 2018 season with 110 IN THE SHADE, directed by Peter Marston Sullivan, at Theater Wit September 27 through December 17. BoHo’s 2019 season, marking the company’s 15th anniversary, will be announced later this month.
BoHo Theatre’s mission is to create bold theatre that challenges convention through innovative storytelling and unites artist and audience in the examination of Truth, Beauty, Freedom and Love through the lens of human relationships. Its vision is to create a shared community of artists and patrons in which all members are moved through art to make thoughtful, well-examined, caring relationships the highest priority in their lives.