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Rogers Park Resident Named Artistic Director of Chicago Dramatists

Posted on July 18, 2011


CHICAGO- Chicago Dramatists, 1105 W. Chicago Ave., is proud to announce that
Meghan Beals McCarthy has been hired as the theatre’s new Associate
Artistic Director. A director, dramaturg, arts administrator, and Associate
Artist with Chicago Dramatists for several years, McCarthy was chosen after
a nationwide search of over 80 applicants for the position. She will assume
her position August 15.

McCarthy is both a promising and dynamic addition to Chicago’s home to
playwrights. Chicago Dramatists’ Artistic Director Russ Tutterow, who
worked with McCarthy earlier this year on the theatre’s production of
BORDELLO, said of McCarthy, “Our partnership with Meghan will make an
important contribution to our ever-expanding programming. Meghan’s
background, accomplishments and energy will help us move into the future as
we serve and nurture the next generation of American playwrights.”

In 2009, Chicago Dramatists was selected as a recipient of a highly
competitive grant from the Theatre Communications Group, which provided
salary support of Richard Perez as Associate Artistic Director, to be
mentored by Russ Tutterow for a two-year period. The grant ends in August
and now Chicago Dramatists is able to continue this important role by
combining it with the part-time Director of Youth and Community Programming
position, which has been held for the past six years by Ilesa Duncan. As the
new Associate Artistic Director, McCarthy will provide leadership to 185
Chicago Dramatists Network Playwrights and the Chicago Dramatists Arts
Education Program serving 500 students in the Chicago Public Schools. Both
Perez and Duncan will continue working with Chicago Dramatists as Associate
Artists and stage directors.

McCarthy previously served as both Resident Dramaturg and Literary Manager
of Northlight Theatre. In her three-year tenure, McCarthy produced
Interplay, a new-play reading series, and acted as dramaturg on all
programmed plays. Prior to this position, McCarthy was the Project Assistant
for the first three seasons of the First Look Repertory of New Work at
Steppenwolf, where she coordinated and moderated “First Look 101,” the
audience-enrichment component of the program. Previously, she was also the
Artistic Associate at the Pearl Theatre Company, a classical theatre company
in New York City. She served as casting director, manager of the company’s
extensive artistic research and development endeavors, and co-produced the
Arts in Education program for NYC high school students. As a director,
McCarthy has worked with companies such as Goodman, Steppenwolf, Northlight,
Chicago Dramatists, Collaboraction, Pavement Group and Theatre Seven and the
Women’s Project, Abingdon Theatre, Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Pearl,
among others. She is also currently serving as Interim Artistic Director of
Caffeine Theatre, for whom she directed Madeleine Olnek’s WILD NIGHTS WITH
EMILY. McCarthy earned her B.A. in Theatre at the University of Southern
California and her M.F.A. in Directing at The Theatre School at DePaul

About Chicago Dramatists
In the fall of 1979, four playwrights came together to hear their work read
aloud and to hone their craft. Today, Chicago Dramatists’ amazing record
of achievement has landed it an invaluable place in the artistic community
as a vital source of inspiration to 40 resident playwrights, 160 associate
playwrights, 60 associate artists, and thousands of audience members. Over
the past three decades, Chicago Dramatists has worked with over a thousand
playwrights, produced and developed thousands of plays, and stayed true to
its mission to nurture compelling, challenging and diverse plays that move
on to productions, earn awards, and define the American theatre.

Each season, Chicago Dramatists presents three world premiere productions
and the signature Saturday Series, weekly staged readings of plays in
progress. The theatre also conducts educational outreach to 400 at-risk
students at Chicago Public Schools, awakening the possibility of
self-expression by writing for the theatre. Through passionate dedication,
personal nurture and careful exposure, Chicago Dramatists carries on its
mission of developing new plays and playwrights for the next generation of

Chicago Dramatists is located just minutes from the Loop at 1105 W. Chicago
Avenue, at the 24-hour Chicago Avenue stop of the Blue Line subway, and is
just off the Ogden and Augusta exits of the Kennedy Expressway. There is
street parking available. For more information visit

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