Geva Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees Extends Executive Director Christopher Mannelli’s Contract Through July 2022.

Rochester, N.Y., August 6, 2019 – The Executive Committee of Geva Theatre Center’s Board of Trustees is pleased to announce that they have renewed Christopher Mannelli’s contract as Geva’s Executive Director and Co-CEO through July 2022. Mr. Mannelli shares the role of Co-CEO with Artistic Director Mark Cuddy.

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Christopher Mannelli is celebrating his 4th season as Executive Director and Co-CEO of Geva Theatre Center. In that time, he has overseen the completion of Geva’s $10.5 Million Front & Center capital campaign and building renovation; realized significant increases in both subscription/single ticket sales and substantially increased the income from Geva’s annual fundraiser, Summer Curtain Call. He has also led the organization through the four most successful seasons in recent history posting an operational surplus last fiscal year and overseeing the growth of the organization by over a million dollars during his tenure. Geva Theatre Center continues to be one of the most attended theatres in the Northeast, welcoming over 150,000 audience members through its doors last season.

“Chris Mannelli, as Executive Director, has been very instrumental in the recent success of Geva Theatre Center,” said Dennis Bassett, Chair of Geva’s Board of Trustees. “We are thrilled that he will be continuing in this capacity.”

“I am so proud of all that we have accomplished at Geva over the past four seasons and I am honored to continue in my leadership of this dynamic arts institution and to serve the Rochester community.” commented Christopher Mannelli.

In 2017 he was appointed to the New York State Council on the Arts’ Theatre advisory panel where he has served for the last two years. He currently serves on the board of directors for the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), board member and member of the executive committee for the Rochester Downtown Development Corporation, Washington Square Park Community Association and on the corporate board for the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center.

Christopher Mannelli joined Geva in 2016 from Victory Gardens Theater in Chicago, a Tony Award-winning institution dedicated to new plays and playwrights, where he has served as Managing Director. During his five-year tenure he led the reorganization of the institution and was responsible for the strategic planning, fundraising and audience development initiatives that created the theater’s new business model. Under his leadership, Mr. Mannelli oversaw numerous award-winning productions, increased contributed income, and launched innovative membership and audience engagement initiatives. Prior to his work with Victory Gardens, he served as Deputy Director at Chicago Shakespeare Theater, one of the largest nonprofit theatres in Chicago. He oversaw operations and helped to produce the theatre’s “World Stage” international programming, including Chicago Shakespeare’s first ever tour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Scotland. Before moving to Chicago, Mr. Mannelli was the Managing Director for HotCity Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri. In this capacity, he was instrumental in the company’s financial and programmatic growth, which included educational outreach programs, new play initiatives and several collaborations with prominent arts organizations. He has served on the board of directors of the League of Chicago Theatres, as a steering committee member for Enrich Chicago (a group of arts organizations in Chicago working collectively to address racial equity), as a board member for the Lincoln Park Chamber of Commerce and the community board of Emerald City Theatre. Mr. Mannelli grew up on Long Island and began his career as an actor and a musician, touring nationally and internationally. He holds a B.A. in opera performance from the SUNY Geneseo School of Performing Arts, an M.F.A. in Arts Leadership from DePaul University, and an Executive Scholars Certificate in Nonprofit Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.


Founded in 1972, Geva Theatre Center is a not-for-profit theatre company dedicated to creating and producing professional theatre productions, programs and services of a national standard. As Rochester’s flagship professional theatre, Geva is the most attended regional theatre in New York State, and one of the 25 most subscribed in the country, serving up to 160,000 patrons annually, including 20,000 students.

Geva operates two venues – the 516-seat Elaine P. Wilson Stage and the 180-seat Ron & Donna Fielding Stage.  As one of the country’s leading theatre companies and a member of the national League of Resident Theatres, Geva produces a varied contemporary repertoire from musicals to world premieres celebrating the rich tapestry of our diverse community. The theatre draws upon the talents of some of the country’s top actors, directors, designers and writers who are shaping the American Theatre scene.

Geva Theatre Center offers a wide variety of educational, outreach and literary programs, nurturing audiences and artists alike. Since 1995, the organization has been under the artistic direction of Mark Cuddy.

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