“We didn’t feel the need to conduct a search for a new artistic director, because we knew we already had the best person for the job,” said president of the board, Neill Shanahan, in a statement. “Meghan is a seasoned leader who has the skills, experience, and proven track record to grow our organization and our national footprint. Her innovation is equaled only by her passion and commitment to making our playwrights shine. She will do a great job of honoring the traditions Russ built over the last three decades while bringing her own signature style to the helm.”
Beals joined Chicago Dramatists in 2008 as an associate artist, and served as associate artistic director from 2011 to 2013. She was also an artistic associate at New York City’s Pearl Theatre Company. In Chicago, she served as the literary manager and resident dramaturg at Northlight Theatre, as project associate for First Look Repertory at Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and as a curator and producer for the Chicago Park District’s Culture, Arts & Nature department. Beals was the recipient of the TCG/Andrew W. Mellon Leadership University grant in 2012.
“It feels great to be back home at Chicago Dramatists, working with our amazing playwrights again,” said Beals in a statement. “It’s an honor to be entrusted with an organization built with so much love by my mentor Russ Tutterow. Now we begin an invigorating new chapter in Chicago Dramatists’ existence; I am dedicated to keeping Dramatists vital to the new-play development field by reenergizing our programming, recruiting new writers and opening our doors to exciting collaborators across the city. I look forward to working with the staff, board and playwrights in maintaining Chicago Dramatists as the new-play development center in Chicago.”