I’ve been working in professional theater for over 20 years now – starting in Chicago in storefronts and freelancing with bigger places, then to Philly, Louisville, and now Oregon for institutional positions. Feminism has never been a bad word for me, and fighting for fairness is something I’ve always done. It has come into sharper focus for me in recent years.
As a recent graduate of the UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies and a Bay Area artist, I am part of large circle of female theater-makers who are dealing with the gender inequities of the Bay Area theater world. As a playwright and director I am continually astonished at how few women are being given the opportunity to showcase their work at major theater companies.
I am the first woman to lead my organization in almost 50 years and currently spend a bulk of my season also directing in LORT companies around the country where I am typically the only woman (or one of very few) directors in their season line up–I also am the current chair of the SDC Executive Nominating Committee.
I’m a playwright, and one of those (many) people who are much better at supporting others than supporting myself. I’ve always been interested in women’s stories and women’s voices; I come from a long line of unassuming feminists, I’ve only recently realized.
I am a Bay Area native, a union actor and a teaching artist. I became an advocate for gender parity, and specifically for union women actors, after moving back to the Bay Area and being told too many times by producers that I was very talented, but they needed their union contracts for the male roles (the implication being they couldn’t find non-union men who could do the jobs well.)
I have studied, performed, taught, and directed improvisational theatre for over 15 years. I founded my SF based theater company, Leela, 10 yrs ago with my husband, Christopher, after studying improv in New York and Chicago. I also produce for The San Francisco Improv Festival.