Happy Monday everyone! Today’s #30Under30PHL is the lovely Dani Rose, the current Managing Director for Theatre Exile in South Philly. When asked about one of her favorite aspects about Philly, she responded, “Oh I love the small town feeling in the big city…I can usually get a smile out of any passer-by. I really appreciate that. It gives a real sense of community within the city.” Keep up that magic Dani!


1. How old are you?
I just turned 30 on September 24th.

2. What do you do?
I am the Managing Director of a small non-profit professional (live) theatre company in Philadelphia. I run the day to day operations, finances, contracting, human resources and employee management for Theatre Exile which employs about 20 people. I also help produce 3 main stage shows, 3 stage readings of brand new plays, several fundraisers and an annual benefit each season. I consider myself to be hands on in all departments of a production from hanging the lights to handing out postcards. I can often be seen in the lobby during performances to chat with patrons about the work at Theatre Exile and the thriving theatre community in Philadelphia.

3. What neighborhood in Philly do you call home?
South Philly baby! West side of Broad. I guess I’m technically in Newbold. But I work in Passyunk Square, and I call that “home” too.

4. What is your favorite thing right now about Philly?
Oh I love the small town feeling in the big city. I know my neighbors and the theatre’s neighbors. While walking my dog I have chats with folks on the street. I can usually get a smile out of any passer-by. I really appreciate that. It gives a real sense of community within the city.

5. What do you consider your greatest achievement thus far?
When I started out wanting a career in theatre, my parents sat me down for the ever popular “let’s re-think your life goals” conversation, always landing on the side of “you’ll never make any money”, “that’s no way to make a living”. And, when I was first starting out in Washington, D.C. I was working three jobs to support my fourth job in the theatre, barely affording my rent, barely affording to commute…etc. Basically, I was proving them right. After about 7 years of 70-hour weeks at multiple jobs I finally found a company to call home with a salary position and 100% of my passion and attentions going to my craft, my art, my work. So, I guess I would say my greatest achievement is not giving up on my passion. Not giving up on myself.

6. If not yourself, who would you like to be?
The answer is Dolly Parton. Every time.

7. Your idea of happiness.
Family. Delicious things. And a good hair-do.

8. Guiltiest pleasure?
It takes me an hour or and hour and half to get dressed and ready for an event. I love to go out with an over the top hairstyle, perfect make up, good styling. But sometimes, I do myself up just for practice. I research vintage styles, or what we now call “Pin-up” styles. It’s completely vain (and I can’t get enough of it).

9. Favorite inspirational quote?
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

10. What do you appreciate the most in your friends?
Their sense of adventure. They say “Do you want to go to a farm today?” YES! “We were thinking of going camping…” IM IN! “There’s this new band playing at a bar up town” OK!! It’s their sense of fun and spontaneity that I’m not sure I would have without them.

11. Favorite food in Philly?
Pho. Pretty much anywhere on Washington Ave.

12. Favorite drink in Philly?
Old Cubans from Stateside on E.Passyunk Ave

13. Favorite song right now?
Wagon Wheel, Old Crow Medicine Show

14. A book you plan on reading?
The Magician’s Land by Lev Grossman

15. A book that powerfully impacted your life?
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

16. Name one historical figure you would like to have coffee with.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg

17. How do you like your coffee?
Iced.

18. Your main fault.
I’m a total control-freak.

19. What is your most prized material possession?
My camping equipment.

20. Your biggest failure.
I often regret not taking more classes in college. I was always worried about my work-load and my grades. So, I guess my biggest failure is not taking the opportunity to learn as much as possible while I had the resources.

21. What you learned from that failure?
Take every opportunity to learn. Learn everything you can. Knowledge is power.

22. What is your greatest fear?
Speaking in public. I have this debilitating fear of addressing a crowd. Funny I’m in theatre….

23. Where will you be in 30 years?
Oh Gosh. My fantasy is to open an educational performing arts center, for folks of all ages. I hope to be running that Arts Center and helping the future of my art form to grow and expand and push boundaries. I want to be working with kids and communities. And a large family of my own, I guess. I know for a fact I’ll the kind of 60-year-old that has moxie. And hopefully the kind of woman that amazes, educates and inspires.

24. Favorite thing to do on a Sunday?
Boozy brunch!!

25. Best date spot?
Sunset at the Spruce Street Harbor Park.

26. What does happiness mean to you?
Limitless, Unconditional, Free love.

27. Twitter or Instagram?
Twitter.

28. Describe Philly in a Tweet.
If NYC is the #citythatneversleeps, than #Philly is the city that gets #daydrunk & passes out on the stoop by 10pm #infrontofgodandeveryone

29. Who should everyone follow on Instagram?
@urbangardenersrep

30. Pats or Genos?
Jim’s.

#30Under30PHL is a month-long series highlighting Philadelphia’s most ambitious women. Created in collaboration with Femme & Fortune and Alex Kacala.