2011 – 2019, Senior Director, The Berman Center for the Performing Arts | Jewish Community Center of Metropolitan Detroit
The Berman Center for the Performing Arts opened its doors on March 23, 2011. As the Director, I created and managed the budget, marketing, and publicity for The Berman. I worked with the Jewish Community Center staff, key donors, agents, producers, artists, partnering arts organizations, and renters to curate and manage over 170 events per season for eight years. Each season included live theatre, dance, concerts, films, lectures, book fairs, film festivals, kids, and stage to screen events.
Our season of performances included one-night engagements with artists, community leaders, speakers, and companies such as; Madeleine Albright, The Acting Company, Marc Cohen, Judy Collins, Barbara Cook, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Arlo Guthrie, Marvin Hamlish, Patti LuPone, Midori, Mandy Patinkin, Michigan Opera Theatre, Molly Ringwald, Chita Rivera, Seth Rudetsky, Sphinx Virtousi, Stephen Schwartz, Charles Strouse, Lily Tomlin, Tommy Tune, and Ben Vereen.
I directed and managed the JCC’s Community Theatre Program, the J Players, which boasts over 100 active members from the local community. I also curated The Berman Summerstock Theatre program, during which time I directed musicals with up to 50 young actors ages 5 – 15. The participants chose their musicals at the end of each summer; they included: Jungle Book Kids, Alice in Wonderland Jr., Peter Pan Jr., The Wizard of Oz Jr., and The Lion King Jr.
During my time at The Berman, I produced new works, including From Broadway to Obscurity, The Michigan Five Annual Dance Concert, and Year 5: A Berman Celebration.
2010 – 2011, Artistic Director, The Historic Gem & Century Theatres
I worked with the owners to research and see new plays and curate the season. Once we chose the shows, I assisted the directors in casting, worked through contract negotiations, hired designers, staff, and show crew, managed the ticketing and box office staff, created marketing, publicity, and fostered relationships with media. Also, I made three possible scenarios with individual strategic plans for each for the owners to review for the theatre’s future based on extensive research into the current audience, community, and theatrical trends at comparable theatres nationwide.
Deputy Director, The Matrix Theatre Company
During my time at The Matrix, I worked as the Outreach Director, Director of Production, and finally, the Deputy Director. My job duties included managing the Matrix staff, contract artists, volunteers, and interns. I created and executed contracts, project plans, productions, marketing, and publicity. I worked with the executive director to write and report on grants and collaboratively select the plays’ season for four seasons. I also worked as a lighting designer, graphics designer, teacher, and mentor. The most remarkable experience for me during this time was working with the UAW (United Auto Workers) to bring in the American historian Howard Zinn. He met with the people of several constituencies in our theatre to have personal conversations with them about their American experience. The respect he showed for each person he interacted with was a beautiful thing to experience.