The four inspirations and pillars of my theatrical career have been my early work with Athol Fugard, my decade and a half collaboration with Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti, my current work with Emily Mann, and having an incredible mentor early on in Ellen Sorrin. In the case of these vital mentors, all roads connect back to Yale.
The great South African playwright and director, Athol Fugard, had the first artistically significant, defining impact on the course of my career. With Athol, I emerged from my thesis production at Yale School of Drama, his world premiere of A Place With the Pigs, and continued my professional journey with him to Spoleto Festival USA and then to New York on a Broadway Production Contract with his stunning productions of The Road to Mecca. Through my collaborations with Athol, at such an early point in my career, he set my artistic goals high, and because of him I have always sought theater with a mission, thus gaining the drive to commit to an institution that captures the beliefs I have.
With Athol opening the door for me at Spoleto USA, once I had my first season with New York City Opera (also a Yale School of Drama connection, YSD graduate and lecturer Rik Kaye, that brought me on staff at NYCO), I returned to Spoleto USA as Maestro Gian Carlo Menotti’s Production Stage Manager and forged a partnership spanning more than a dozen years collaborating on 13 productions for the Maestro, and Spoleto USA and Italy.
Guest lecturing in Rik Kaye’s Production Management class at YSD, Ellen Sorrin, former director of the George Balanchine Trust, Jerome Robbins Trust and Managing Director of the New York Choreographic Institute at New York City Ballet, was everything I wanted to be as a woman in the arts industry.
Ellen quickly became my early career mentor opening opportunities for me in the New York City theater, dance and opera worlds. 35 years later we are still friends and peers.
My career journey has been exactly what the Yale School of Drama of the 1980’s trained me for. Production stage managers do not pick the productions presented at a theater, but we can pick the companies we want to work with. For the past 29 seasons and over 37 productions with Emily Mann, artistic director and resident playwright emeriti, I have found that artistic home at McCarter Theater. At this point in my career, aside from being a part of high-quality work, my greatest satisfaction lies in the mentoring and success of my inspiring staff and emerging young theater makers, passing on all I can give to the next generation of the finest stage managers.
Now, a year into my pandemic pivot, with the live theater industry shut down, I am a Founder and Partner of princetonVIRTUAL.com, producing and presenting virtual theater and events that make an impact on my communities. Never would I have imagined this would be a part of my career journey. I find myself reflecting on my vital mentors, and my Yale experience, as a guiding force as I continue with my artistic mission.
Founder | Partner | Creative Direction, princetonVIRTUAL.com
Resident Production Stage Manager 1990-2020 (closed due to pandemic)
McCarter Theater, Princeton, N.J.
Executive Board and Awards & Recognitions Chair
Stage Managers’ Association
Yale School of Drama MFA 1987