As a result of their experience with the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab, Co-Founders Elizabeth Margolius and Karin Shook both felt that Chicago would be an ideal location for directors to gather and collaborate.
Their initial announcement to the local theatrical community garnered replies from over 100 emerging and established directors with a wide range of disciplines and backgrounds. Such profound enthusiasm confirmed their suspicions that directors would benefit from a place to meet, work, share ideas, and socialize in Chicago; and so, in July 2005, immediately upon their return from New York, the planning began. DirectorsLabChicago celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2014.
In 2008, DirectorsLabChicago began a competitive internship program for rising junior and senior college students. In 2019, this program was rebranded as an arts service internship for individuals interested in supporting community and industry-wide arts efforts.