Rebecca Daniels (MFA, PhD) taught performance, writing, and speaking in liberal arts universities for over 25 years, including St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, from 1992-2015. She was the founding producing director of Artists Repertory Theatre in Portland, OR, and directed with many professional Portland theatre companies in the 1980s.

She is the author of the groundbreaking Women Stage Directors Speak: Exploring the Effects of Gender on Their Work (McFarland, 1996, 2000) and has been published in multiple professional theatre journals. After her retirement from teaching, she began her association with Sunbury Press with Keeping the Lights on for Ike: Daily Life of a Utilities Engineer at AFHQ in Europe During WWII; or, What to Say in Letters Home When You’re Not Allowed to Write about the War (2019), a book based on her father’s letter home from Europe during WWII. 

She had always known she was adopted, but it was only as retirement approached, and with a friend’s encouragement, that she began the search for her genetic heritage through DNA testing. Finding Sisters (Sunbury Press, September 2021) explores how DNA testing, combined with traditional genealogical research, helped her find her genetic parents, two half-sisters (one maternal; one paternal), and other relatives despite being given up for a closed adoption at birth.

She recently completed a new memoir about her late-in-life second marriage and sudden widowhood called That Day, And What Came After: Finding and Losing the Love of My Life in Six Short Years, forthcoming from Sunbury Press in the fall of 2023.

To book Rebecca for an author talk at your venue, you can email her at rdaniels@stlawu.edu.


Where does she come from?

Who are her genetic parents?

Who is she?

Does she even want to know?

With almost no information of her genetic heritage, adoptee Rebecca Daniels follows limited clues and uses DNA testing, genealogical research, thoughtful letter writing, and a willingness to make awkward phone calls with strangers to finally find her birth parents.

But along the way, she finds much more.

Two half-sisters.

A slew of cousins on both sides.

A family waiting to be discovered.

With the assistance of a distant cousin in Sweden and several other DNA angels on the internet, Daniels finally comes face to face with her birth mother just months before her passing. Join in on this author’s discovery of family and self in Finding Sisters: How One Adoptee Used DNA Testing and Determination to Uncover Family Secrets and Find her Birth Family

FROM 2019

“The story of how a marriage survived both infertility and a three-year separation because of WWII…of a love that transcended those obstacles to survive and even thrive when the war was over.”

View photographs from Keeping the Lights on for Ike by clicking the above photo or visiting the Gallery page