The Victory Gardens Theater board of directors announced today that longtime administrative head Marcelle McVay will leave the organization this fall.

McVay’s been with Victory Gardens 34 years. She and her husband, artistic director Dennis Zacek, built it into one of the city’s leading theater companies, with a regional Tony under its belt, a new home in the rehabbed Biograph Theater, a $3 million annual budget, and a continuing commitment to produce new work. VG’s  been a legendary Ma and Pa operation; it’s hard to imagine an opening night without McVay as the welcoming committee.

She’s quoted in today’s announcement as having “long planned to have a new career ‘post  Victory Gardens,'” perhaps in “education, human services or possibly grant making.” But no specific new job has been mentioned, and word is that this is, at least in part, fallout from a bitter battle between the board and the administration over the sale of Victory Gardens’ previous home and Greenhouse space at 2257 N. Lincoln, last spring.  (Read our story about that here.) A search committee has been formed to find McVay’s replacement.