1. When did you start volunteering for the EstroGenius Festival?
As a founding partner at Manhattan Theatre Source in 2000, I was really
dismayed by the amount of wildly talented women who lacked good
opportunities to share their work. I founded EstroGenius as an answer to that
frustration so I’ve been involved from the start. The first year, it was just two
weeks of short plays, live music & an art show. The festival has certainly
grown since those early days!
2. What position are you in this year?
For the past few years, I’ve been serving largely in an advisory capacity though
our company, Dream Out Loud Media, made the fundraising video this year. I
was EstroGenius Executive Producer for many years, but stepped away in part
to help build Dream Out Loud Media with my husband, Jon Ecklund. I was
also, frankly, a bit burned out and pretty exhausted. I am so grateful for Jen
Thatcher who has done an amazing job as Executive Producer and improved
the festival on so many levels without losing any of the spirit. Her leadership
has helped EstroGenius develop in ways I couldn’t have accomplished:
strengthening the organization, bettering the selection process and building
a very strong creative team. Her energy, artistry and dedication are awe-
3. What excites you about this year’s festival?
There is so much to be excited about this year ~ a larger, nicer venue, the new
rep schedule, a fantastic, diverse team putting it all together. Strong work is always the most rewarding thing about the festival to me. I just love discovering new talent each year, as well as looking forward to what our trusted veterans contribute.
4. What do you feel will be your biggest challenge?
This year, I think my biggest challenge will be finding the time to see
everything! Obviously, the short plays are the festival centerpiece but so much
wonderful work goes on as well in Sola Voce, Women in Motion, Stand Up
for Estro, Project Girl, the live music, incredible visual art….it’d be a shame to miss any of it!
5. What is your tagline to an unknown audience for the 13th anniversary of the EstroGenius Festival?
I’m tempted to make some kind of “binders full of women” joke here, but I
suspect we’ve heard enough of that! How about: ‘The Lucky 13 EstroGenius
Evolution: A Celebration of Female Voices Offering Something for Everyone!”