WHS grad leads Chicago’s Raven Theatre


By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



Cody Estle


Courtesy Photo

CHICAGO – One Wilmington native’s show continues to go on.

Cody Estle, a 2007 Wilmington High School graduate, is the new Artistic Director for the Raven Theatre in Chicago.

Estle, who has served for three years as Raven’s Associate Artistic Director, succeeds Co-Artistic Directors Michael Menendian and JoAnn Montemurro, who led the company since its founding in 1983. Estle has served the theater over the past nine years in a variety of ways.

“He brings superb artistic skills, a wealth of relationships within the Chicago theater community, an intimate knowledge of the theater’s long history, as well as an unmatched enthusiasm for theater’s ability to tell the important stories of our times and of our communities,” said Raven Theatre Board President Walter Pophin in a news release.

“I’m thrilled to take on this new leadership role at Raven Theatre,” Estle said. “I look forward to working with the board and staff to bring artistically vital programming to Edgewater. Together we will foster dialogue with our collaborators and audience and will build and expand the Raven Theatre community.”

“Cody is an inspiring emerging leader in Chicago theater,” said longtime Chicago Director and Artistic Director at WaterTower Theatre in Dallas Joanie Schultz. “Having known him for the last decade as a creative, smart and hardworking director, I have no doubt that he will do great things at Raven Theatre and am thrilled for Raven and the entire Chicago theater community.”

Along with serving as the Associate Artistic Director at Raven Theatre for three years, Estle has directed a number of productions for the theater including the upcoming world premiere “The Gentleman Caller” by Philip Dawkins, premiering in spring 2018.

His work includes directing for Northlight Theatre, First Floor Theatre, Redtwist Theatre, The Artistic Home, Haven Theatre, Mary-Arrchie Theatre and the upcoming Chicago premiere of “Five Mile Lake” with Shattered Globe Theatre. Estle was the Artistic Assistant at Northlight Theatre, a Directing Associate at Goodspeed Musicals and taught on the faculty of Cherubs at Northwestern University. He has been an assistant director at Steppenwolf Theatre, Northlight Theatre, Writers Theatre, Court Theatre and Marriott Theatre.

Estle holds a B.A. in Directing from Columbia College Chicago.

According to the Raven Theatre’s website, it “tells stories of today and the past that connect us to our cultural landscape. Through its plays as well as its educational programming, Raven is committed to serving our communities’ needs through the arts.”

Cody Estle
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/11/web1_Cody-Estle-by-Joe-Mazza-Brave-Lux-1-1-1.jpgCody Estle Courtesy Photo

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com