John Szostek has left Piccolo.
  • Courtesy Piccolo Theatre
  • John Szostek has left Piccolo.

Evanston’s Piccolo Theatre announced Wednesday that its founder and longtime head, John Szostek, “has resigned from the organization effective immediately.” Szostek was artistic director of Piccolo Theatre Ensemble and executive director of Piccolo Theatre, Inc.

The announcement, issued by Piccolo’s board of directors, says his departure is the “culmination of a two-year succession plan,” and that Szostek will “pursue other interests.”

Piccolo has been a labor of love for Szostek, who started the company in 1999 to produce commedia dell’arte. He also spearheaded the innovative, multiuse renovation of the Main Street Metra station, where the theater company makes its home, and is the force behind the huge Custer Fair, which he saved from extinction in 1982 and has headed ever since.

With his departure, the board has appointed managing director Amanda Kulczewski as Piccolo’s new producing director. Marketing manager Joshua Allard has been promoted to general manager, and David W.M. Kelch will serve as the ensemble’s interim artistic director.