The League of Chicago Theatres has selected Marissa Lynn Ford as Executive Director, following an executive search process led by Arts Consulting Group (ACG). She will begin her tenure on October 17, 2022.
Prior to joining The League of Chicago Theatres, Marissa Lynn Ford held various positions at Goodman Theatre, including the roles of Roche Schulfer Apprentice Producer, Special Projects Associate, and, finally, Associate Managing Director. During her eight-year tenure, Ford developed an effective IDEAA (Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Access, Anti-Racism) plan, led negotiations for artistic contracts, and maintained a $10 million budget for artistic expenses and special projects for the nine-production season. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, she supported the execution of Chicago’s first COVID-19 Equity-approved production, including a Health and Safety Plan.
Previously, Ford served at American Theatre Company and Broadway in Chicago. She has been a member of various committees, including, but not limited to, the League of Resident Theaters Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee and Mentorship Committee, the Woodlawn AME Church Daniel H. Guy Scholarship Committee, and the Theatre Communications Group Programming Council. She holds a bachelor of arts degree in business administration, international business, and a bachelor of fine arts degree in theatre acting from Drake University.
In making the announcement, Search Committee Co-Chairs Charlique C. Rolle, League secretary and Executive Director of Congo Square Theatre and John Collins, immediate Past Chair of the League board and Managing Director of the Goodman Theatre said, “The committee unanimously recommended Marissa Lynn Ford to the position based on her proven leadership, vision, and care for community that will serve the organization, the membership, and the field at-large. Marissa’s deep experience in Chicago theatre, her distinguished work at the Goodman for the past eight years and her passion for Chicago theatre made her the top choice from a field of excellent and well-qualified candidates.”
League of Chicago Theatres Board Chair Heidi Thompson Saunders added, “On behalf of the League’s Board of Directors, I am thrilled to welcome Marissa Lynn Ford as Executive Director. Marissa’s commitment to Chicago and Chicago theatre makes her an ideal choice to step into this role. I look forward to partnering with Marissa as she works to help Chicago theaters continue to emerge from the pandemic.”
“What excites me about working with the League of Chicago Theatres is the opportunity to help share the stories of many voices across the Chicago community. The opportunity to develop the strategic plan, create new relationships and call-in community members and artists is exciting work,” said Marissa Lynn Ford. “By building off the current framework and programs with the League’s amazing team of board and staff, I am confident that we will uplift Chicago theatre in a new way.”
“Congratulations to the search committee, board, and staff of The League of Chicago Theatres on their selection of Marissa Lynn Ford as Executive Director,” said ACG Vice President Jenna Deja. “Ford is a visionary and an inspirational leader whose guidance will positively impact the Chicago theatre scene and help local theaters thrive.”