In addition to my lifelong passion for and involvement in theatre and performance, I hold a Master of Arts Management—with a concentration in theatre and performance studies—as well as a Bachelor of Creative Writing.
At age 22, I co-founded Spotlight Theater, a south-suburban Chicago community theatre troupe with the mission: “to present socially conscious theatre with the goal of provoking critical thinking and community dialog; while striving to challenge our actors and artists with material that most community members would not have the opportunity to tackle outside of the city.”
During my tenure at Spotlight, I served in a variety of capacities, my favorite being as director of productions, including Tennessee Williams’s The Night of the Iguana, Ira Levins’s Veronica’s Room, and Edward Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? (which garnered critical acclaim, being listed in the top 10 community theatre productions of all time by local Daily Southtown theatre critic Don Snider).
I have witnessed theatre’s power to influence social change. I strive to direct productions that—rather than lull and comfort audiences or merely entertain audiences—provoke audiences to think, i.e., question their preconceived notions; process and discuss their thoughts; and, ultimately, take action. I recognize that theatre has the power to transform not only its audience, but also those involved in the creative production. To this end, whether working with a cast of seasoned professionals or students, dramaturgy, research, and textual analysis are essential. I encourage honest discussion about what the world of the play meant to its original audience; what it means personally to the cast; why and how the world of the play is relevant to their personal lives; and how their political points of view relate to and influence the text.