CHICAGO: Victory Gardens Theater has named Erica Daniels as its managing director. Daniels will begin her new role on Jan. 2, 2017. She succeeds Christopher Mannelli, who departed earlier this year to serve as executive director of Geva Theatre Center in Rochester, N.Y.
“Erica Daniels has been a longtime friend of Victory Gardens,” said artistic director Chay Yew in a statement. “A cornerstone of the Chicago theatre community and a fierce champion of new plays, she brings her uncanny administrative and management acumen to the organization. I can’t think of a more perfect partner and collaborator in Erica. I’m excited for us to further build on the vision and mission of our theatre.”
Most recently, Daniels served as the president of Second City Theatricals where she oversaw the remount of The Art of Falling at Hubbard Street Dance Company and Black Side of the Moon with Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, among others. She joined Steppenwolf Theatre Company as casting director in 2001, and subsequently served as the company’s associate artistic director. She cast the original Broadway production of Airline Highway, the Broadway production of Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, and the original production and Broadway run of August: Osage County. Before joining Steppenwolf, she worked as an agent for Geddes, Arlene Wilson and Shirley Hamilton, and spent a year as the theatre department coordinator at William Morris in New York City. Daniels serves on the boards of Rivendell Theatre Company and the League of Chicago Theatres. She holds a degree in performance studies from Northwestern University.
“I have long admired the work of Chay Yew and the staff and artists at Victory Gardens,” said Daniels in a statement. “It is a thrill for me to join an organization with such a committed board, talented staff and both renowned and emerging artists. I look forward to being part of an organization that is dedicated to the social responsibility of theater while producing excellent and challenging new works.”