Associate Director holds another important Director title this season as the director of Disney’s The Little Mermaid. The holiday show is one that people hold dear in this community, so we are thrilled that Allyson will be the visionary behind this production. In preparation for the show, we wanted you to get to know the woman behind the magic!
Tell us about yourself and how you made your way to Civic Theatre:
I grew up in West Michigan, but left to pursue my undergraduate degree at Bradley University and followed with an MFA in Directing/Asian Theatre at the University of Hawaii-Manoa. After graduate school, I spent several years as the Education Coordinator for Hawaii Opera Theatre and then several MORE years free-lancing as a director, performer, administrator, and arts educator in the San Francisco Bay area and in Colorado Springs.
My family & I moved to Michigan in 2013, and I became a Civic volunteer and faculty member in September of that year. I took over the Associate Director position in July 2015, and have been grateful for every minute working with the incredible staff, faculty and volunteers!
What excites you about Civic Theatre?
I love the combination of meaningful history and magical potential at Civic! Everywhere you look, you can see pictures on the wall or chat with long time volunteers who have rich stories to tell – and at the very same time, you can also see the beginnings of future productions, and watch young people who are just starting to write their own stories. I find it fascinating, inspiring, and motivating!
What are you up to when you aren’t here?
(Wait….that’s a thing?) Lately, when I’m not at Civic, my son and I have been volunteering at Mackenzie’s Animal Shelter!
Allyson was recently highlighted in the Grand Rapids Business Journal for her focus on inclusion and accessibility within our School of Theatre Arts. You can find that article here.