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  • Angela Allyn


After a nationwide search, Metropolis Performing Arts Centre (Metropolis) is thrilled to announce that Rob Gretta has been selected as its new Artistic Director. Gretta brings with him a highly seasoned background in the performing arts as an artistic leader, director, performer, educator and coach. He joins Executive Director Brookes Ebetsch to usher in a new and exciting chapter for the theater and school of the performing arts located in the heart of downtown Arlington Heights.

The six-month search attracted 85 candidates from across the country. According to Metropolis Board Vice President Ryan Cutlip, in addition to Gretta’s more than 30-year career, his vision to be a welcoming and inclusive place for people of all backgrounds made him the perfect choice. Additionally, he has pledged to recruit and engage people of diverse backgrounds, experiences and voices, and to support continued Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access training instituted under Ebetsch’s leadership.

Gretta holds a Masters in Fine Arts Degree in Directing, and officially began in his new role on March 21, 2022. He is looking forward to “hitting the ground running” and delighting audiences.

“I am incredibly passionate about the art of storytelling; stories that challenge us, make us laugh or cry, and that make us human – and especially those told with different voices and from different perspectives.” Gretta said. “I am thrilled and humbled to have been entrusted with this important role at Metropolis and look forward to engaging with and entertaining the greater community.”

During the search, Ebetsch, who joined Metropolis in February of 2020, managed both leadership roles. Now she will bring her focus back on the School of Performing Arts and all internal operations. Gretta will manage title selection and stage productions while working directly with directors, designers and actors.

Ebetsch is excited for what the future holds as Metropolis brings its own new story to life.

“Rob and I will follow in the accomplished footsteps of other great Chicago theatrical partnerships, and together, we will be focused on the creative power of collaboration to bring Metropolis into its next chapter,” she said.

About Metropolis Performing Arts Centre

Metropolis Performing Arts Centre is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. The theater houses 329-seats which hosts hundreds of produced and presented performances each year, including a Main Stage subscription series and a variety of concerts, comedy, and cabarets.

The Metropolis School of Performing Arts enriches the lives of thousands of students ranging from toddlers to seniors; the school curates arts curriculum for students of all ages including those with special and different needs.

Executive Director Brookes Ebetsch

Brookes holds a Masters in Nonprofit Business Administration from the Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art + Second Major in Spanish Language, also from the University of Notre Dame. She is a graduate of the Stagen Integral Leadership Program and joined Metropolis Performing Arts Centre as the Executive Director in February of 2020. Brookes has a long history in the arts and theater and served on the Wheaton North High School speech team. Additionally, she was part of Notre Dame Women's Choir, played mariachi with MariachiND and taiko drumming with Taikodelic. She comes from a family whose passion is in the arts, including her mother, grandmother and brother who are all professional visual artists and an aunt who was director of Glenbard South theater program for 30 years.

Artistic Director Rob Gretta

As a gay creative artist, Rob is focused on ensuring that any marginalized community feels welcomed, that their voices are heard and celebrated and that they are invited to fully create and flourish in a holistic community of arts. Before joining Metropolis Performing Arts Centre, Rob most recently served as the Assistant Artistic Director at Post Playhouse in Crawford, Nebraska. His credits range from new works to Shakespeare, Sondheim to Menotti. Some of his directing projects have included Annie Get Your Gun, Avenue Q, Hello, Dolly!, Into the Woods, Man of La Mancha, Mamma Mia, The Secret Garden and The Sound of Music. As an actor, he appeared in such titles as Cabaret (Herr Schultz), The Crucible (Giles Corey), The Drowsy Chaperone (Man in Chair), Guys and Dolls (Nathan Detroit), Henry VI, Part One (Sir Richard Vernon) and Little Shop of Horrors (Mushnik), among many others over his 30-year career.

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