I love everything about the theatre: it’s like magic! Becoming a different person, or creating an entirely new world in a finite space – it’s the most fun I’ve ever had.
My first theatrical performance was when I was 5 years old, when I was in the chorus of children in the Danville Summer Singers’ production of Oklahoma! My father played the role of Curly, and summer musicals became a family tradition.
Other favorite childhood roles include the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, multiple productions of The Sound of Music, including a parody performance, Kaa the snake in Jungalbook, and membership in the situational drama troupe “47 Seconds,” sponsored by the Family and Children’s Council of Blackhawk County (Waterloo, IA) to promote prevention of child abuse.
I completed a B.A. in Theatre Arts at Marquette University in Milwaukee, WI, where I was awarded the four-year Liberace Foundation scholarship. While there I performed in many main stage and studio productions, including On the Twentieth Century, Machinal, Museum, Medea, and The Shadow Box. My senior thesis project was to direct a student production of Quilters, in which I also performed as one of my actors got sick right before opening!
During college I was also fortunate to perform with the Menomonee Falls Community Players in a production of 1940s Radio Hour (Connie Miller), and was chosen as an acting intern for the Milwaukee Chamber Theatre‘s Shaw Festival in 1995.
Marquette is where I learned just how many little pieces have to fit together to make a successful production happen. I worked as a student apprentice in the Scene Shop, where I built, painted, and set up lighting for 5 or more shows a year, and also spent time working in the Box Office, learning the business end of putting on a season. When I was not performing, I was backstage on the running crew, assisting actors with wardrobe, or running the light board.
Theatre is still a family affair, as my husband is also a Marquette Theatre grad and our two children both enjoy participating on and off stage as well. All four of us appeared in The Sound of Music – me as the Mother Abbess, my husband as Uncle Max, our daughter as Marta and our son as one of festival musicians. Our son was a Stage Crew Apprentice at the Santa Fe Opera (2016 and 2017), and now manages theatre performance spaces, designs lights and builds sets, and is an active member of IATSE in Seattle, WA. Our daughter is currently studying vocal performance in opera at Loyola University New Orleans, after participating in the Jimmy Awards in New York City in 2019.
I serve as a volunteer in the Costume Shop at the Santa Fe Opera, and I have worked extensively on and offstage with both the Los Alamos Little Theatre and the Los Alamos Light Opera. I directed the LALO production of The Mystery of Edwin Drood in October 2013, and served as the producer for LALT’s production of Stones in His Pockets in May 2013. In March, 2016, I directed the New Mexico premiere of Lions in Illyria, a children’s adaptation of Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night by Robert Kauzlaric, for LALT.