Look to the Lady backstage: after an extensive search, the Oak Park Festival Theatre has announced the hiring of a new Managing Director, Jhenai Mootz.
With the success of OPFT’s last few seasons, a concerted effort has been made by the company to prioritize growing its operational capacity moving forward. Most demanding of these needs was determined to be a Managing Director to guide the organizational infrastructure of the company. A search to engage a full time executive was then carried out last January.
Mootz represents an ideal choice to lead the administrative and marketing sides of the company where she has appeared regularly on stage for several seasons. Her performing background, both with OPFT and at many other Chicago theatres, gives her genuine understanding of the concerns and needs of performers, while her business experience and managing savvy will bring welcome insight and energy to the operational side of the organization. (Her experience playing Joan of Arc will also doubtless stand her in good stead as Managing Director of a small arts group.)
“The summer of 2016 marks my 10th year with the OPFT, and in the last decade I have seen this company come so very far in terms of both artistic and organizational growth. I am thrilled and honored to be apart of this company in this new capacity and I applaud all of the hardworking, passionate souls who have shed sweat and blood to get us to this point of change and potential.” – Jhenai Mootz
OPFT Artistic Director Jack Hickey says of Mootz’ hiring, “I couldn’t be more pleased with the board’s decision. Jhenai is a colleague and a friend of over 10 years and countless productions. Her drive, dedication, passion and professionalism mark a real step forward for the company.”
Brad Bartels, OPFT Board President says, “The Board of Directors of Oak Park Festival Theatre has long wanted to strengthen the professional management of the theater and is excited to have engaged Jhenai Mootz as Managing Director. We were very pleased by the response to our managing director search and to be able to offer the position to Jhenai from a very competitive field of candidates. We are excited that she has accepted the challenge, and truly look forward to working with her as we forge an even brighter future for Oak Park Festival Theatre.”