Nathan Allen, the founding artistic director of the House Theatre of Chicago and its principal public face and creative force for the last almost 20 years, is leaving his post.
“I am not going to stop making art,” Allen said, noting that money factored into his decision. “But I have two school-age kids and my wife is working a lot of overtime.”
As with many other theater companies, the pandemic has had an acute impact on House, a company founded by a group of college friends in 2000 and known for its innovative original theater, its interest in popular culture and its longstanding determination to attract millennials and Gen-Xers who do not typically attend theater. Allen, known for his exuberant curtain speeches (“let’s make some noise”) and his warm-centered personality, was a big part of that appeal, as was his work.
Unlike most non-profit theaters, House made an impressive 70%