Linda Fortunato, a faculty member in the Columbia College Chicago Theatre Department‘s Musical Theatre BA and Musical Theatre Performance BFA programs, has been named artistic director of Theatre at the Center in Munster, Indiana, one of America’s leading regional theatres.
Fortunato will replace longtime TATC artistic director William Pullinsi effective January 1, 2016. Pullinsi will continue as Artistic Director Emeritus. The announcement was reported December 2 on BroadwayWorld.com’s Chicago news page.
Fortunato is a two-time winner of the Joseph Jefferson Award, Chicago-area theatre’s top prize. She won a 2013 Equity Jeff Award for her choreography for Theatre at the Center’s production of 42nd Street and a 2014 Non-Equity Jeff Award for her choreography for Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s staging of Kiss of the Spider Woman. She was also nominated for a 2015 Jeff Award for direction of a musical for Bohemian Theatre Ensemble’s Parade. Other credits at Theatre at the Center include directing the theatre’s current production of A Christmas Story; choreographing Monty Python’s Spamalot, Big Fish, A Christmas Carol, Guys and Dolls, Crazy for You, and Fiddler on the Roof; and performing in Lend Me a Tenor and The Diary of Anne Frank.
At Peninsula Players in Fish Creek, Wisconsin, one of America’s most distinguished summer stock theatres, she has worked extensively as a director (Lend Me a Tenor, And Then There Were None, The Nerd), choreographer (Chicago, A Little Night Music, Little Shop of Horrors, Into the Woods), and actor (The Importance of Being Earnest, Wait Until Dark, Noises Off). Other notable credits include choreographing a much-praised revival of the musical Fiorello! for Chicago’s TimeLine Theatre in 2006.
“Linda Fortunato has been a frequent collaborator with Pullinsi and other TATC directors as a choreographer; she is already a valued member of the TATC family,” said Richard Friedman, General Manager of Theatre at the Center. “With our current wildly popular run of A Christmas Story, Linda has now directed her first show here. . . . [She] is the ideal person to lead us forward. She has creativity, high energy, and a true collaborative spirit. She is highly respected in the Chicago theatre community and will continue our institutional commitment to bringing the very best performers, designers, choreographers and guest directors to TATC.”
A Christmas Story runs at Theatre at the Center through December 27. For tickets, click here.