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Manhattan Theatre Club names Chris Jennings as new executive director

Jennings, who will succeed Barry Grove in the renamed position, spoke to Broadway News about his goals for the theatrical institution.

Chris Jennings (Credit: Courtesy of Boneau/Bryan-Brown)

Chris Jennings will be the new executive director of nonprofit Manhattan Theatre Club (MTC). Jennings will succeed longtime executive producer Barry Grove, who will step down at the end of June; MTC will continue to operate under the artistic directorship of Lynne Meadow.

Jennings will join MTC after 19 years serving as executive director of Washington, D.C.’s Shakespeare Theatre Company (STC). During a nearly two-decade tenure, Jennings supervised the opening of Sidney Harman Hall — one of two STC venues — produced 120 productions and led the theater through a transition of artistic leadership from founding artistic director Michael Kahn to current leader Simon Godwin. STC was the recipient of the 2012 Regional Tony Award during Jennings’ term. Prior to STC, Jennings worked as the general manager of Trinity Repertory Company in Providence, Rhode Island, and New York City’s Theatre for a New Audience.

It’s fitting that Jennings should join MTC — or, rather, rejoin. Back in 1996, he served as an administrative fellow to Grove.

“What I learned from [Barry] was foundational to my entire career,” Jennings told Broadway News. “He was constantly creating new paradigms of how we support the work, and I think he gave me a clear definition of how you produce theater for the greatest success for everyone. I got all of that from Barry.”

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