Victory Gardens Theater is a theater in Chicago, Illinois dedicated to the development and production of new plays and playwrights. The theater was founded in 1974 when seven Chicago artists, Warren Casey, Cordis Heard, Roberta Maguire, Mac McGuinnes, Cecil O'Neal, June Pyskaček, and David Rasche each fronted $1,000 to start a company outside the Chicago Loop. The theater's first production, The Velvet Rose, by Stacy Myatt premiered on October 9, 1974.
The company’s initial home was on the top floor of the Northside Auditorium Building, 3730 N. Clark Street. Its second production -- a country-western musical co-produced with commercial producers called The Magnolia Club by Jeff Berkson, John Karraker and David Karraker -- was the company’s first hit.