jakub | April 30, 2023

AMERICAN THEATRE | Markie Gray to Step Down as Raven Theatre Managing Director

Markie Gray and Cole von Glahn.

CHICAGO: Raven Theatre has announced that Markie Gray will step down as the theatre’s managing director at the end of April, and Cole von Glahn will assume the interim managing director position at the beginning of May. Gray has been with the company since July 2020, and will be joining another major Chicago arts organization. Cole von Glahn returns to Raven, having previously served as the theatre’s production manager and artistic producer from January 2018 through June 2021.

“We are grateful for Markie’s leadership over the past three years,” said Raven board president Stephen Johnson in a statement, “especially given the challenges associated with assuming a new position in the very early days of COVID-19 and then of resuming operations in an environment even more uncertain than that normally faced by a performing arts organization. We wish her nothing but the best as she takes the next step in her career of nurturing Chicago’s performing arts. We are very fortunate that Cole will rejoin the theatre. He brings a wealth of knowledge about the theatre and its operations as well as its donors and patrons. The theatre will be in very good hands as it searches to fill the managing director position.”

As managing director, Gray helped guide Raven through the COVID-19 pandemic and its reopening of operations as an Equity theatre, the remodeling of the Johnson Stage, the development and implementation of its anti-racism plan, and the expansion of its accessibility initiatives.

“Thank you to everyone who gave me the extraordinary opportunity to lead this Chicago institution,” said Gray in a statement. “I am extremely grateful for my time at Raven and know that I am leaving the theatre in the exceptional hands of the staff, board, and artists. I look forward to Raven’s next chapter and will be in the audience cheering them on.”

Before joining Raven, Markie Gray served as the associate director of marketing and communications at Yale Repertory Theatre. Previous positions include company manager for Yale Repertory Theatre, management fellow under Susie Medak at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, production manager at American Theater Company, and artistic producer at First Floor Theater. Originally from Ann Arbor, MI, she spent six years post college working as a producer, production manager, sound designer, stage manager, educator and performer in Chicago. She is an artistic associate of First Floor Theater, and a graduate of the theatre management MFA program at Yale School of Drama and holds a BA from the University of Chicago.

In addition to having served as the Raven’s artistic producer, Cole von Glahn has produced and directed at First Floor Theater, where he was the director of production from 2016-2019, Neverbird, Griffin Theatre, and American Theater Company. Since his departure from Raven, Cole has pursued an M.S. in computational analysis and public policy from the University of Chicago with a specialization in digital human rights and data privacy.

“I first came to Raven at a moment of transition and found an artistic home dedicated to engaging our community with the breadth and depth of the theatrical voice,” said von Glahn in a statement. “I’m ecstatic to return as Raven looks forward to its 41st season of creating cultural connection.”

Raven Theatre is an equity performing arts organization located on the north side of Chicago. The company seeks to tell stories of today and the past that connect audiences to the cultural landscape. Raven provides revivals of modern dramas and thought-provoking new works to the Northside Chicago community, as well as theatrical education to the children and schools in the surrounding neighborhoods. As of 2021, its budget was around $405,000.

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