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Meet Our New Artistic Director: Carson Becker

18 Mar 2019 4:14 PM | Anonymous

The Board of Directors for Chicago Dramatists is thrilled to announce Carson Grace Becker is Chicago Dramatists’ new Artistic Director. She will begin her duties this week on a part-time basis and start full time in May.

  • “Carson has a history with Chicago Dramatists and a distinguished, national reputation,” said Ajitha L. Reddy, president of our board of directors. “She has a natural ability to relate to and nurture playwrights and other artists, no matter where they are in their artistic journeys. That skill, her formidable talent and networks, her warmth and authenticity, and her ability to bring people together led her to the top of the list of impressive candidates.”

    As you may recall, Chicago Dramatists began its national search for a new Artistic Director in November 2018 and sought extensive community input throughout the process. The board reviewed scores of candidates and conducted intensive, multi-tiered interviews. 

    “Chicago Dramatists was my first artistic home and helped launch my career,” Carson said. “As a collective of playwrights and artistic associates, it nurtured and challenged my craft, provided collaborative opportunities, and gave me room to play, think, experiment, succeed and fail. Such spaces are more important than ever now in our American landscape. I’ve been many places since my beginnings at Dramatists. It is both an honor and pleasure to accept this position, and I can’t wait to return.”

    Carson is a playwright, screenwriter, dramaturge and arts educator. She earned a master of fine arts degree in playwriting from the University of Iowa. She taught Playwriting/Screenwriting at the University of Chicago’s Graham School, Columbia College, Roosevelt University and Chicago Dramatists. She served as guest artist at New York University, Ohio University, the University of Nebraska, the University of Illinois and Oklahoma State University. She has worked as Literary Manager for Honolulu Theatre for Youth and as the program manager for the Educational Outreach and the Network Playwrights programs at Chicago Dramatists.

    Currently a resident of Butte, Montana, Becker splits her professional and personal time between Los Angeles, Chicago and Butte. She is an adjunct faculty member at Columbia College’s Theater Department and the program director for the Butte Silver Bow Archives. In 2014, she moved to Butte, where she founded The Root & The Bloom Collective, a non-profit arts and humanities organization, to combat the high rate of teenage suicides in Montana. 

    Becker’s awards, honors and achievements include:

  • L.A. Neo Noir Novel, Film & Script Festival / Gold Award / Screenplay Category – 2015
  • The Emerging Screenwriters Competition / Screenplay Finalist – 2014
  • The Creative World Awards / Screenplay Finalist – 2013
  • Los Angeles New Wave Film Festival / 2nd Place / Screenwriting Award – 2011
  • Austin Film Festival / Screenplay Finalist - 2010
  • Illinois Arts Council Grant / Artistic Merit / Playwriting – 2004
  • The Acting Irish Theater Festival / Best Production – 2004
  • ADA Award (LA) / Best West Coast Debut – 2001
  • Illinois Arts Council Grant / Artistic Merit / Playwriting – 2001
  • The Ofner Prize / The Goodman Theatre - 2000
  • The Southwest Festival of New Plays – 2000
  • Joseph Jefferson Award - Best New Work / 1998
  • Women at the Door New Plays Festival / Winner – 1997
  • Award for Playwriting Excellence / The Kennedy Center – 1992
  • Nicholas Meyer Playwriting Award / University of Iowa - 1992

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