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Redtwist Theatre, formerly Actors Workshop Theatre, embarked upon its first production as an itinerant company in 1994 with Simon Gray’s Otherwise Engaged. AWT incorporated as a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation in May 2001 under Michael Colucci, the Founding Artistic Director. AWT produced five more plays before moving to its current home in the vibrant Bryn Mawr Historic District of the Edgewater neighborhood in Chicago in the fall of 2002. Redtwist’s first show in Edgewater, Praying Small, opened in September 2003. It was designated as a Critic’s Choice by the Chicago Reader and was extended two times by popular demand. As of March 1, 2008, AWT’s corporate name officially changed to Redtwist Theatre.
Michael’s producing partner and wife, Jan Ellen Graves, was the Managing Director. In addition to acting, she directed the critically-acclaimed The American Clock by Arthur Miller and the Jeff-recommended, world premiere and now published plays, Geezers and Aura, by company member, Tommy Lee Johnston. Michael’s direction of All My Sons, Les Liaisons Dangereuses, Three Hotels, That Face, and Broken Glass was also critically-acclaimed and Jeff-recommended.
In 2017, MichaeI felt it was the right time for a change in leadership at Redtwist, and so Redtwist began a search for a new Artistic Director who who would continue the Redtwist mission of powerful drama in a warm, intimate space. In 2018, on the advice of company member Steve Scott, Charlie Marie McGrath returned to Redtwist, where she had previously worked on the 2015 Redtwist production of Red by John Logan (where you might have been given a plastic apron and splattered with red paint). With the blessing of the Redtwist Board, Charlie’s official tenure as the Producing Artistic Director began September 1, 2019.
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