Emjoy Gavino One of Three Co-Directors
As The Gift Theatre embarks on its 20th anniversary, its Board of Directors today announced a change in artistic leadership and plans for a new performance space in Chicago’s Jefferson Park neighborhood. Co-founder and Artistic Director Michael Patrick Thornton will step down from his post after helming the theatre for two decades.
He will be succeeded by a trio of Co-Artistic Directors including Ensemble Members Brittany Burch, Jennifer Glasse and Associate Artistic Director, Ensemble Member and Casting Director Emjoy Gavino. The Gift will also exit its longtime home at 4802 N. Milwaukee Ave. and launch a capital campaign to open a new theatre space in Jefferson Park. Thornton will remain firmly with the company, playing a leading role in fundraising efforts for The Gift’s new home. The Gift will announce its 2022 season shortly, and will perform at various venues across Chicago until its new venue is complete.
The Gift will pay tribute to Thornton, welcome its new artistic leadership and unveil its vision for a future home at its 20th Anniversary Birthday Party on Monday, December 6, 2021, 20 years to the day of the theatre’s very first opening night. Guest are invited to mingle with the Gift ensemble, enjoy appetizers, cocktails and dessert, and celebrate 20 years of Gift productions at the Copernicus Center, 5216 W. Lawrence Ave. in Jefferson Park. The party begins at 7 pm, with a VIP reception at 6 pm. Tickets ($50, $110 and $200 levels) are currently available at thegifttheatre.org. Please note: proof of vaccination (or a negative COVID test within 72 hours of the event) and masking are required.