The Auditorium Theatre Board of Directors has announced the appointment of Rich Regan as the theatre’s Chief Executive Officer, effective October 1, 2019. Regan, who previously served as the Auditorium’s General Manager from 1999 to 2006, is the Vice President and General Manager of Presentations & Events at the Lyric Opera of Chicago.
The Auditorium Theatre celebrates its 130th Anniversary during the upcoming 2019-20 Season, which begins in September. The theatre opened in 1889 and has played a role in shaping Chicago’s architectural and cultural landscape since its inception. The Auditorium was named a National Historic Landmark in 1975 and received the Outstanding Historic Theatre Award from the League of Historic American Theatres in July 2019.
“We are thrilled to bring Rich back to the Auditorium to serve as the theatre’s Chief Executive Officer,” says Ann Nash, Chairman of the Auditorium Theatre Board of Directors. “To have someone who is so familiar with the theatre step into this leadership role at such an opportune time in the theatre’s history is invaluable. We know that Rich will quickly begin working to expand our programming, increase our community engagement, and fulfill our vision of serving the city of Chicago and beyond as the ‘Theatre for the People.’”
“I am honored to return to the Auditorium Theatre, one of the most iconic buildings in Chicago and the place that ignited my passion for historic restoration, as the CEO,” says Regan. “I am thrilled to come back at such an exciting time, and I look forward to working with the dedicated staff and Board of this National Historic Landmark. It is a privilege to serve this legendary institution in this capacity.”
At the Lyric Opera, Regan developed all non-opera programming, planned and managed all capital improvement projects, established strategic partnerships, and developed, planned, and oversaw the opera house’s two restaurants. He also led the Lyric through historic restoration projects and administered plans for the continued upkeep of the historic venue. As General Manager of the Auditorium from 1999 to 2006, Regan oversaw the theatre’s major restoration and renovation in the early 2000s, a $14 million project. He also negotiated multi-year residency agreements with theatre partners and restructured the theatre’s approach to rental and presented events.
Prior to the Lyric and the Auditorium, Regan worked for the Nederlander Organization in its development department and as general manager of Wisconsin’s Alpine Valley Music Theatre. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Western Illinois University.
“I am delighted that Rich will be leading the executive team of our beautiful Auditorium Theatre,” says Ali Malekzadeh, President of Roosevelt University. “As someone with more than 25 years of successful experience in his field, he brings a wealth of experience to this position. I look forward to working with him as he envisions and leads the next chapter of the Auditorium Theatre’s story.”
Rachel Freund, who has been serving as Interim CEO of the Auditorium Theatre, will return to her role as Chief Financial Officer.