Deb Clapp stepping down from leadership role at League of Chicago Theatres

Clapp will officially exit the role as executive director on June 30.

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Deb Klapp

Deb Klapp


Deb Clapp will be stepping down from her role as the executive director of the League of Chicago Theatres, it was announced Thursday.

Clapp’s resignation from the role she has held for 14 years will be effective June 30.

The League’s board of directors will be enlisting the help of a search firm to conduct the formal search for her replacement.

“Deb has been a tireless champion of our diverse and dedicated members, consistently advocating for programs and resources that provide for the needs of the entire theatre community,” said League board chairperson Heidi Thompson Saunders in a statement. “Deb has helped to build a solid foundation for the future of the League, and we look forward to continuing to serve our industry as it evolves. We are fortunate to have had her leadership through the pandemic, and thank her for her sustaining advocacy on behalf of the field.”

Under Clapp’s leadership, the League — which for 40 years has operated as a service organization promoting and advocating for local live theater — stabilized its finances, and has successfully implemented a number of Chicago-area initiatives including the Chicago August Wilson Monologue Competition, Chicago Theatre Week, The Year of Chicago Theatre (2019); and three new grant programs, which have distributed more than $2 million in grant funds to theaters, according to the official announcement.

Clapp’s plans include a move back to the East Coast to pursue other interests.

There are currently more than 250 theaters that call Chicago and its suburbs home, providing live entertainment options to more than 5 million patrons each year.

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