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Chris Hamby named executive director at Theater Works in Peoria

Photo of Chris Hamby
Chris Hamby is now executive director at Peoria-based Theater Works following a lauded career as artistic director for more than a decade at the performing arts entity. (File Photos/
Hamby has served as Theater Works artistic director for past 12 years
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Chris Hamby has been named executive director of Theater Works.

Mr. Hamby, Theater Works artistic director the past seven years, replaces former Managing Director Cate Hinkle who left the organization late last month, according to a press release.

“Chris has been key to the artistic growth of Theater Works and is the right person at the right time to continue his services of excellence,” said Justin Shaver, chair of the Theater Works board of directors. “He’s a thoughtful leader with a foundation of stellar theatre artistry. Chris is a special and talented individual.”

Mr. Hamby, an award-winning director, previously served as Theater Works education director, before becoming artistic director. Mr. Hamby was recently elected to the national board of directors for the American Association of Community Theatre, the release states.

His career includes work with many Valley theater companies throughout the years including Greasepaint, East Valley Children’s Theatre, Mesa Encore Theatre and Desert Foothills Theater.

In 1999, Mr. Hamby co-founded the Vagabond Youth Theatre where he received permission to adapt Maurice Sendak’s “Where the Wild Things Are” into a stage musical for the company.

He has completed the American Express Leadership Academy’s Nonprofit Leadership Management and has been honored with an outstanding service award by the Arizona Thespians for his work for high school theater students.

Mr. Hamby began his association with Theater Works as a teen when he directed his first production with Theater Works in 2000.

“Theater Works has been my home for many years and I am proud to steward it into the future,” Mr. Hamby said in a prepared statement. “I am thrilled to have this opportunity to continue to lead this great organization.”

Mr. Hamby has received 10 ariZoni Theatre Awards of Excellence from the more than 30 ariZoni nominations for his theater work. He received the 2020 Governor’s Arts Award Artist of the Year Award for his body of work.

Additionally, he was named a recipient of the HomeTown Heroes Award in the Trailblazer category for his accomplishments in the community of Peoria.

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