Erica Daniels to Succeed Kelly Leonard at Helm of Second City Theatricals

After 27 years with the company, Leonard will continue as an in-house independent producer, and Daniels will serve as president.

CHICAGO: The Second City‘s Kelly Leonard has announced that he will step down from his post as president of Second City Theatricals and executive vice president of the Second City after 27 years with the live comedy organization. Erica Daniels will succeed Leonard as president of Second City Theatricals, while Leonard will pursue various projects with Kelly Leonard Productions, housed within the umbrella of Second City Theatricals.

“We are fortunate to have such an incredible creative and strategic leadership team,” said Andrew Alexander, executive producer and CEO of the Second City. “This structure allows everyone to play to their strengths, find new collaborators, partners, and venues, and continue to develop new opportunities for our writers, performers, and directors.”

Kelly Leonard.
Kelly Leonard.

In his nearly three-decade tenure, Leonard climbed the ranks from working in the venue’s kitchen to expanding the comedy troupe as its artistic leader. Some of Leonard’s Second City Theatricals projects include The Art of Falling with Hubbard Street Dance Chicago and The Second City Guide to the Opera with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He also served as the producer of resident stages and was instrumental in creating many of Second City’s shows featuring Tina Fey, Scott Adsit, and Rachel Dratch.

“I feel extremely blessed to be able to seek out new opportunities for myself and Second City, while still staying connected to the day to day work at the theatre,” said Kelly Leonard in a statement.

Erica Daniels.
Erica Daniels.

Daniels is a former associate artistic director with the Steppenwolf Theatre Company. She received a degree in performance studies from Northwestern. She served as the theatre department coordinator at William Morris and worked as a casting director for various theatre companies in Chicago. She is currently on staff at Ball State University. Daniels will assume management of the touring companies, cruise ship companies, and day-to-day managerial duties at Second City Theatricals and the Second City.

“I am honored to take on this role at Second City and work with this creative and producing team in these many areas,” said Daniels in a statement. “The team here is simply among the best with whom I’ve ever worked. I am also thrilled to continue to work with Kelly on developing new theatrical works. It is an extremely exciting time here at Second City and we are poised to do great work.”

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