Iím delighted to begin my first season at Victory Gardens, and Iím deeply honored to continue the rich legacy that Founding Artistic Director Dennis Začek championed. In many ways, I feel my life in American Theatre would not have been a reality without the efforts of Dennis and his peers who ceaselessly believed in new American work and diversity. That said, this is a new chapter at Victory Gardens. We are presenting new plays, bold theatrical works and forms through spoken word, hip-hop, poetry, dance and music. Victory Gardens is renewing our commitment to passionate new American voices that celebrate, reflect and challenge the attitudes of our dynamic and diverse society. Our immediate plan is to refine and amplify Victory Gardensí mission of presenting new American plays.
I look forward to meeting all of you at our shows.
Words from Industry Leaders
Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of The Public Theater comments, "Congratulations to Victory Gardens on selecting one of our most thrilling and boundary-defying artists to be their next leader! Chay Yew is one of the smartest people in the American Theater landscape. He has vision, skill and talent to burn. Passionate and cool-headed simultaneously, he is going to be a wonderful artistic director.Ē
Ben Cameron, Program Director for the Arts at the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation and former Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group, the national service organization of regional theatres says, "Chay Yew represents an exciting choice for Victory Gardens . An accomplished playwright and director, Chay is an extraordinary artist to be sure. But I also know him to be a deep listener, a community builder, a generous partner, and a genuine advocate for the value of the theatre and the arts. He has shown keen insight into organizational issues and promises to be a strong organizational leader. I hope this is a great new chapter for Chay, for Victory Gardens and the entire Chicago community.Ē
Teresa Eyring, Executive Director of Theatre Communications Group comments, ďChay Yew is an extraordinarily accomplished and respected theatre artist, whose abilities as both playwright and director combine to make him an excellent match for Victory Gardens . In appointing Chay, the VG board should be applauded for standing squarely behind its mission, to support playwrights and their works as well as building an ethnically and culturally diverse community of artists. Iím sure that Chay will be a major asset to Chicago ís already formidable theatre community, and that his leadership will resonate across the national theatre landscape.Ē
David Henry Hwang, award-winning playwright comments, "Chay Yew is a great facilitator of talent. He has an eye for talent, and knows how to nurture new voices. Victory Gardens is not just any theater. Itís a writerís theater. Thatís why it feels like a good fit for Chay. He is not only a distinguished playwright himself, but knows how to guide other writers' projects to artistic fruition. Victory Gardens has made a bold choice to embrace the changing face of the Midwest, and of America . There is no other mainstream regional theatre in the U.S. with an Asian American Artistic Director. This decision recognizes our nation's evolving cultural paradigms, and moves us into the 21st century."