Victory Gardens Theater Announces Tanuja Jagernauth As 2019 Marcelle McVay Management Fellow

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Victory Gardens Theater announces Tanuja Jagernauth as the 2019 Marcelle McVay Management Fellow for 2019. Victory Gardens Next Generation Fellowships provide comprehensive mentorship, requisite training, and experience for these future leaders of color, preparing them to helm arts institutions or departments on the national and local level. The 2019 Macelle McVay Management Fellowship is made possible by support from the Weiss Grosshandler Charitable Fund.

"We are thrilled to have Tanuja Jagernauth as our Victory Gardens' Next Generation Fellow. This unique Fellowship furthers our unwavering commitment to inclusion, diversity and equity in the field," said Artistic Director Chay Yew. "We are invested in mentoring future theater leaders that represent our audiences, communities, and stories told on our stages. Victory Gardens is extremely grateful to our board member Susan Weiss, and Dean Grosshandler, Weiss Grosshandler Charitable Fund, for their generous support to make this a reality."

"I am so honored that the Next Generation fellowship bears my name," said Marcelle McVay. "It was a joy to work with Dennis Zacek, the staff, board and audiences of Victory Gardens for 35 years to ensure that the work of its stages reflected the people of the City of Chicago. Chay Yew and Erica Daniels have continued to expand that mission through the creation of programs such as this one. I congratulate Tanuja Jagernauth and look forward to the contributions she will make to Victory Gardens and Chicago."

The Victory Gardens Theater's Next Generation Fellowships is a professional development program for mid-career persons of color that will prepare and groom underrepresented theatre professionals for leadership positions in the American Theatre. Through hands-on experience, mentorship, and career-guidance, Fellows will be given tools to become the next generation of arts leaders.

For more information about the program visit

About our 2019 Marcelle McVay Management Fellow

Tanuja Jagernauth

Tanuja Jagernauth is a playwright and dramaturg who believes in the necessity of creation during times of destruction. In 2016, she shifted career paths from Traditional East Asian Medicine to theatre in hopes of practicing four specific frameworks for collective liberation and wellness through theater: self/community care, harm reduction, trauma-informed practice, and body positivity. Since 2016, Tanuja has had the honor of interning and eventually working at Chicago Dramatists as their Operations Manager.

Tanuja is currently employed at Chicago Freedom School and is honored to join Victory Gardens as their 2019 Marcelle McVay Management Fellow. In January, Tanuja's play, HOW TO PICK A LOCK, directed by Tara Branham, will be a part of Prop Thtr's RhinoFest. She will serve as the Production for Manager for Pegasus Theatre's Young Playwrights Festival is currently working with Free Street Theater as their Stage Manager and Assistant Director for their upcoming show, STILL HERE. She is also serving as an Associate Artist for Cloudgate Theatre and is the dramaturg for their upcoming production of Kristin Idaszak's STRANGE HEART BEATING.

This Fall, Tanuja was honored to have her play, FIRST DATA GOLD, directed by Puja Mohindra and presented as part of Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at Steppenwolf Theatre. Her short play, BATTLEGROUND, directed by Jonald Reyes, was part of Revolutionary Acts, the 6th National Asian American Theater Conference & Festival. Her short play, SKIN, directed by Jonald Reyes, was part of the Our Perspective: Asian American Play Readings at The Goodman Theatre in Chicago and workshopped by The Pulp Stage in Portland, OR.

Recent dramaturgy credits include Prop Thtr's NEVERLAND, Pegasus Theatre's production of ECLIPSED, Sideshow's Freshness Initiative workshop and staged reading of PRO-AM by Brynne Frauenhoffer, Stage Left's production of Robert Schenkkan's BUILDING THE WALL, Pegasus Theatre's production of THE GREEN BOOK by Calvin A. Ramsey, and Cloudgate Theatre's production of ANOTHER JUNGLE by Kristin Idaszak.

About Victory Gardens Theater

Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Managing Director Erica Daniels, Victory Gardens is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through productions of challenging new plays and musicals. Victory Gardens Theater is committed to the development, production and support of new plays that has been the mission of the theater since its founding, set forth by Dennis Za?ek, Marcelle McVay, and the original founders of Victory Gardens Theater.

Victory Gardens Theater is a leader in developing and producing new theater work and cultivating an inclusive Chicago theater community. Victory Gardens' core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city's and nation's culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city's active student population.

Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. Located in the Lincoln Park neighborhood, Victory Gardens Biograph Theater includes the Za?ek-McVay Theater, a state-of-the-art 259-seat mainstage and the 109-seat studio theater on the second floor, named the Richard Christiansen Theater.

Victory Gardens Ensemble Playwrights include Luis Alfaro, Philip Dawkins, Marcus Gardley, Ike Holter, Samuel D. Hunter, Naomi Iizuka, Tanya Saracho and Laura Schellhardt. Each playwright has a seven-year residency at Victory Gardens Theater.

The Playwrights Ensemble Alumni includes Claudia Allen, Lonnie Carter, Steve Carter, Gloria Bond Clunie, Dean Corrin, Nilo Cruz, Joel Drake Johnson, John Logan, Nicholas Patricca, Douglas Post, James Sherman, Charles Smith, Jeffrey Sweet and Kristine Thatcher.

For more information about Victory Gardens, visit Follow us on Facebook at, Twitter @VictoryGardens and Instagram at

The 2018/19 Season Sponsors are the REAM Foundation, The Harvey L Miller Supporting Foundation, Bill and Orli Staley Foundation, and Helen Zell.

The 2018/19 Season Sponsor Partners are the Conant Family Foundation; George A. Joseph; Marcelle McVay and Dennis Zacek; Jeffrey Rappin and Penny Brown; and Jane M Saks, Nathan Cummings Foundation.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Shubert Foundation, Venturous Theater Fund of the Tides Foundation, Wallace Foundation. Additional major funding comes from Crown Family Philanthropies, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, the Illinois Arts Council Agency, Polk Bros. Foundation.

Major funders also include: Allstate, Alphawood Foundation, Edgerton Foundation, Exelon, Field Foundation of Illinois, The Harvey L. Miller Supporting Foundation, David Rockefeller Fund, Time Warner Foundation, Inc.

Additional funding this season Robert and Isabelle Bass Foundation Inc., Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, Capital Group Private Client Services, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, ComEd, Nathan Cummings Foundation, Golden Country Oriental Foods, Goldman Sachs, John R. Halligan Foundation, ITW, Mayer Brown LLP, The McVay Foundation, Metropolitan Capital Bank and Trust, National Endowment for the Arts, Negaunee Foundation, Roberta Olshansky Charitable Fund, Origin Ventures, Pauls Foundation, PNC Financial Services Group, Prince Charitable Trusts, Charles and M.R. Shapiro Foundation, The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, Wrightwood Neighbors Foundation.

In-kind support is provided by: Italian Village Restaurants, Southwest Airlines, Roy's Furniture, Suite Home Chicago, Taco Joint, and Whole Foods Market.

Capital improvement support from the Performing Arts Venue Fund at the League of Chicago Theaters, with funding from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation; and Capacity Building support by Compass-Chicago.


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