Friday, January 14, 2011

Graney Steps Down

Well this is news: as first broken by Eric and Andy's Reviews You Can Iews, Sean Graney will be stepping down as artistic director of The Hypocrites, the Chicago theatre company that he founded in 1997. He'll be replaced by Halena Kays, a company member at The Hypocrites and the current artistic director founder of Barrel of Monkeys.

(Confidential to Anderson Lawfer and Eric Roach: screw you guys, with your scoops and your good journalism! You're making the rest of us bloggers look bad!)

I've previously stated my love of the work that Graney does, both with The Hypocrites and at other theatres. (I think I went from cautious admirer to full-on fan with the fall 2008 one-two punch of The Threepenny Opera with The Hypocrites and Edward II with Chicago Shakespeare.) The good news is that this work will continue--he's slated to direct two shows a season for at least the next two seasons with The Hypocrites, and I have no doubt at other theatres as well. It's a good thing--nobody explodes a classic play and picks up the pieces quite like him, and his success rate is astonishingly high. While I don't think I've ever seen Kays' work (or, shamefully, ever gone to a Barrel of Monkeys show), I've heard nothing but good things about her. (I'd be remiss if I didn't mention tireless managing director Megan Wildebour, who will continue to be awesome and make things happen in that way that managing directors of small companies do.)

So congratulations to everyone at the Hypocrites for arranging a smooth and artistically exciting way to continue the strong work that the company does. I look forward to seeing more shows there. (This isn't just me saying that--I'm seeing "The Pirates of Penzance" tomorrow night.) And Sean, if you ever leave Chicago, I'll be very angry. Finally, readers, I leave you with two pictures.

This is what the past looks like:

And this is what the future looks like:

Both photos by Sandro


Monica Reida said...

She is already part of their Ensemble, so I hope it's smooth.

And Eric and Andy's good journalism is why people respect them.

Anonymous said...

Just to clarify - Halena is the founder of Barrel of Monkeys, but Luke Hatton is the current artistic director.

Zev Valancy said...

Thanks, helpful anonymous person--I've corrected it!