A strong arts event, program, or organization is inextricably connected to building a strong neighborhood and city. My expertise and love of plays, literature, characters, and ideas can be a catalyst for diverse skills sets, ages, experiences, and communities to amplify their voice and impact. There is power in strong rhythm, complex characters, and juicy text; art that allow us to feel more deeply, to reflect honestly on ourselves and community; characters that challenge our expectations and allow us to dream; stories that spark a connection and inspire action.
We are all hungry for work that simultaneously challenges, stimulates, and entertains. In a highly mediated world, the performing arts and literature offer an opportunity to rediscover the world, to transform isolation and communication breakdowns into stories that give our lives clarity, confidence, and compassion.
I have been doing this as an arts and humanities educator, administrator, and leader for over 20 years. My career includes work with Seattle Repertory Theater, Seattle Shakespeare Company, ACT Theatre, Book-It Repertory Theater, New City Theater, Seattle Children's Theater, Montana Shakespeare in the Parks, Chicago's Court Theater, and educator positions at the University of Washington, Centrum, Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Central Community College, Seattle University, University of Chicago, and regional K-12 schools. I have helped launch many continuing programs, including the School Partnership Program at the University of Chicago, Seattle Shakespeare Company’s Short Shakes educational program, the Rainier Valley Youth Theater, and drama programs at elementary and middle schools around the Pacific Northwest. I attended the Lakeside School in Seattle, and have a degree in history from the University of Chicago.
In January 2001 founded the position of Artistic and Education Director at Seattle Public Theater, where I served until December 2016. Over these 17 years we built the organization from the ground up into a nationally respected professional theater. Annually, I directed over ten productions with student ensembles and two mainstage productions, programmed over 30 productions between the education and mainstage seasons as well as camps, classes, and outreach programs, and worked closely with board, staff, and volunteers. Favorite directing credits on the SPT mainstage include: Three Tall Women, Master Harold....and the Boys, The Sweetest Swing in Baseball, A Wedding Story, The 13th of Paris, Arms and the Man, Rosencrantz and Guildstern are Dead, The Language Archive, Gidion’s Knot, Bad Jews, and Amadeus.
My professional and educational directing work has received consistent critical reviews, and artists of diverse backgrounds enjoy the process. I strive to create environments at every level of the process that support strong, healthy communication and individual expression.
The hundreds of students who have come through my productions and workshops continually speak to the passion, challenge, and connection they have discovered through our work. Youth direction, leadership and mentorship have had a huge impact on my life and work as I have seen the power of the arts to unlock individual potential through community action. Challenging internal and external expectations of what youth are capable of, we expand my own creative capacity. I work tirelessly to offer youth professional resources, give them maximum ownership and responsibility, and approach each project with a spirit of inclusiveness, fun, and faith in their ability to succeed beyond their own imaginations.
In workshops with companies such as Amazon, Bastyr University, and foundry10, I facilitate executive leadership training, team-building, and productivity drawing on my experience both as a theater artist and a non-profit organization leader. Professionals of diverse backgrounds value the energy I bring to the room; the balance between attending to the individual and attending to the group; clarity of goals and definitions of success; swiftly articulated mission, vision, and values pitched to the audience at hand; and new perspectives on resonant themes.
I lead with a strong foundation of administrative experience and a demonstrated track record of steady growth and fiscal responsibility. During my tenure at SPT, our budget and subscriber base increased every year, and we never carried debt. I am adept at managing complex schedules, competition for finite resources, prioritization of needs, and diverse personalities, learning/working styles, and areas of expertise.
I am terrifically passionate about mentorship and experiential learning. I have recruited and fostered the development of numerous educators and youth directors who have continued on to lead departments, programs, and organizations of their own. As a leader, administrator, and mentor I provide clarity, support, and tools to help these instrumental individuals deploy their passions and skills, and build their capacity to expand their own range and that of their students.
Whether or not I am working with students who hope to be professionals, professionals who consider themselves students, or people adrift in creative identity, I work hard to build, honor, and sustain the trust of colleagues, students, parents, patrons, and community. When people are able to lift up their own voice, they are better equipped to transform the world around them.