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Exec Roche Schulfer Celebrates 40 Years with Goodman Theatre

As Executive Director of the Goodman Theatre since 1980, Schulfer is being awarded a star on the theater’s “Walkway of Stars” on September 24th for his central role in its emergence as a major cultural institution and leading U.S. theater.

A lifelong Chicagoan, Roche Schulfer began his career with the Goodman Theatre as a Box Office Attendant in 1973, just after finishing a degree in Economics from Notre Dame. From there, he quickly rose through the ranks, reaching the position of Managing Director in just eight years with the Goodman.

Many of Schulfer’s colleagues throughout the years say the reasons for his success, both personal and also for the Goodman, are obvious: Schulfer is “a charismatic arts advocate with remarkable business acumen whose leadership led to the establishment of quality, diversity and community as the core values of the Goodman,” said Ruth Ann M. Gillis, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer, Exelon Corporation, and President, Exelon Business Services Co.

Schulfer has been recognized by numerous boards and organizations within the arts for his leadership and advocacy in the field of theater for over 25 years. During his tenure at the Goodman, his accomplishments are simply too numerous to list in full: Goodman sales revenue rose from $2.5 million to $11.5 million and public support rose from $2 million to $6.6 million; he was named “Chicagoan of the Year” by the Chicago Tribune and Chicago magazine; the $46 million new Goodman Theatre complex was built (1998-2000); Goodman won the Pulitzer Prize for Ruined by Lynn Nottage (2009), “Best Regional Theater in the United States” by Time magazine (2003), the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater (1992), and numerous Joseph Jefferson awards for outstanding achievement in Chicago-area theater.

Chicago Loop Alliance congratulates Roche Schulfer on his transformative achievements in the Chicago theater district, and we look forward to Schulfer’s and the Goodman’s continued success for many years to come!

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