For the past 30 years, Chicago has been my artistic home. I’ve been blessed to have had a successful career as a professional actor, Director, Choreographer, award-winning writer, and for the past 17 years the Artistic Director of the Marriott Theatre. This past June, I decided it was time for a new adventure. My husband and I packed up our lives and moved to Madison, while I spend the year in the Wisconsin School of Business pursuing my master’s degree in Arts and Creative Enterprise Leadership through the Bolz Center.
My decision to go back to school was predicated on a side project I started during the pandemic. It first began in 2018, when I was asked by the U.S. State Department to create an arts educational outreach program in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Based on the success of that project, and continued success in Germany and Poland, in 2021 my business partner and I founded Broadway Across Borders, a not-for-profit organization that builds international and cross-cultural collaborations through musical theatre performance that create a shared understanding of humanity by cultivating and connecting emerging artists across borders and empowering their artistic and social entrepreneurship. Having the opportunity to pursue my MA through the Bolz Center has deepened and enriched my knowledge and understanding of the non-profit arena and has helped me be a better leader of my organization. Achieving this degree will undoubtedly help make Broadway Across Borders more successful and in turn help change lives around the world.
Post-graduation I look forward to continuing my international work with Broadway Across Borders. However, I will also look for an opportunity to work with a regional theater or academic institution where I can help lead the development of a new works program focused on creating grounded, honest, diverse, and challenging musical stories. The creation of new musical storytelling is where my leadership strengths and artistic talents lie. I want to be a catalyst for changing how the musical art form is created, developed, and seen by the world. That is the legacy I would be proud to leave behind.
I’m so grateful for this opportunity to be back on a college campus again, learning from the amazingly talented professors and the incredible members of our cohort. It’s been humbling in the best way, and in May I will be so unbelievably proud to say that I’m a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Bolz Center for Arts Administration.