Monday, May 23, 2016

Artist Spotlight: Randy Steinmeyer

At Still Point Theatre Collective, we aim to work with top-notch professionals when producing our original plays. No one could argue that we have found such an artist in Actor Randy Steinmeyer, who recently took over the role of Fr. Doug Doussan in our play Living Water: The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church.

Randy’s background reveals that he is a quintessential Chicago actor – and happy to have made a good living in his chosen field.  After earning a Bachelor’s degree in Theater Arts from Blackburn College in Carlinville, IL in 1981, he later received his Professional Certificate from the prestigious Goodman School of Drama in 1983. Randy muses that he never left the neighborhood – as his current north side Chicago home is blocks away from the school.

Randy’s resume is full of impressive roles from stage, TV, and film – before 1990 he had earned membership in SAG, AFTRA, and Equity professional actors’ unions.  Just a few highlights of his career include originating the role of Denny Lombardo in the world premiere of the play A Steady Rain, for which he won a Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Actor in a Principal Role; TV appearances in Chicago PD, Chicago Code, and The Untouchables; and film roles in Game Day, The Babe, and Public Enemies. He cited the latter as one of his most treasured movie experiences, having learned a great deal from working with the likes of Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, and Director Michael Mann. Randy chuckled as he recalled Mann’s persistent direction for him: “Don’t do anything.”  He would repeat his line, and Mann would repeat: “No. Don’t do anything.” It seems that Mann’s direction took the familiar counsel “less is more” and went one better. In addition to his work on stage and screen, Randy has traveled the world working as a spokesperson for various corporations - appearing at numerous conferences and conventions.

Randy’s connection to Still Point can be traced back to 1989 when he met Still Point Founder and Artistic Director Lisa Wagner-Carollo. Randy and Lisa both performed in Catholic activist group Call to Action’s productions Between the Times and Peaceworks. It had been a while since the two had spoken when Lisa approached him a couple of years ago about playing the role of Msgr. John O’Grady in a one person play that Still Point created for Catholic Charities USA. Randy had too many conflicts to take on that project, but when Lisa later asked him about playing Fr. Doug in Living Water, he was happy to have enough room in his schedule to take the role.

I asked Randy about the man he portrays in Living Water: Fr. Doug Doussan, the (now retired) pastor of St. Gabriel Church. The play tells the story of how the church rebuilt after the post- Katrina floods devastated New Orleans, and Fr. Doug is a pivotal character in the story. A charming Southern gentleman, this priest’s sincere dedication to his parishioners was always evident when he was being interviewed for the play. After listening to the tapes, Randy remarked that he noticed the surprisingly dry wit that one can almost miss under Fr. Doug’s smooth southern drawl. Randy also noticed the comfortable and at times comical rapport between Fr. Doug and his fellow Pastoral Leader Sr. Kathleen Pittman. He is enjoying exploring this relationship in performing the play with Lisa in the role of Sr. Kathleen.  “We’re having fun,” he remarked, “I think it’s important to have fun when we perform, even when there is a lot of important and serious information to convey. If we’re having fun, the audience will enjoy themselves as well.” Randy also remarked that he often gets cast as blue-collar characters simply due to his physical type, so he’s enjoying the change of pace in playing a gentle-mannered priest.

In speaking of the play’s importance and relevance, he connected the stories told in Spike Lee’s When the Levies Broke to the sentiments conveyed by the character of Michael in Living Water. Michael has a speech that expresses shock, heartbreak, and anger at the lack of response from government officials and agencies during and after the disaster. Randy used the term “criminal negligence” to describe this lack of response, and it’s hard to disagree with that characterization. Randy travels a great deal, and noted that in visiting New Orleans several times since Katrina, he has seen that there are still stretches around the city and along the Gulf Coast that have never recovered. Living Water is telling an important American story that deserves to be told - and remembered. Randy’s exceptional talent and energy are a great boon to this production, and we are thrilled to have him on board.

Please monitor our social media and website calendar for upcoming performances of Living Water: The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, for a chance to see Randy perform the role of Fr. Doug Doussan. Information about booking a performance can be found at our website:

Actor Randy Steinmeyer, pictured above in a recent headshot, and below with Lisa Wagner-Carollo in Living Water: The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church.

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Mary Dean: Leading the Fight Against Solitary Confinement in Illinois

Mary Dean, if you speak to her, will strike you as an exceptionally gentle and soft-spoken woman. One should be aware, however, that her quiet aspect houses a formidable, lion-hearted warrior in the struggle for justice. 

I began my recent conversation with Mary by asking her how and why she was drawn into a life of activism. She traced that history back to childhood and her experiences growing up on the South Side of Chicago. The effects of extreme poverty were visible everywhere, and in grade school she was volunteering in soup kitchens. Mary has been combating social injustice ever since. While a student at St. Louis University, she became involved in the Catholic Worker Movement, deepening her awareness and commitment to alleviating the burdens of poverty. She is also engaged in numerous efforts to correct policies that promulgate social and economic injustice – locally, nationally and globally. 

Mary’s activism has on occasion resulted in her arrest. As a result of her participation in a peaceful action to call for the closing of the School of the Americas, a U.S. run training facility for Latin American military personnel, Mary was arrested and sentenced to 6 months in Federal prison for trespassing on Federal land. In 1995 she engaged in a nonviolent protest against nuclear weapons, for which she was also arrested. In this incident, she was placed in solitary confinement for a couple of days in Ashland County Jail in Wisconsin.

These experiences gave Mary some first-hand insight into the practices inside the U.S. criminal justice system. She said that she witnessed the degree to which “the focus was not on rehabilitation – not at all.” Two years ago Mary became a paralegal, and then began working for the nonprofit legal organization Uptown People’s Law Center. She utilized her experience and skills to craft a bill setting limits on the use of solitary confinement in Illinois. She researched legislation that other states had put in place to restrict the use of solitary confinement, and collaborated with a coalition of activists to craft the final wording of HB 5417, the “Isolated Confinement Restriction Act.” This group then met with IL House Representative La Shawn Ford to seek his support, and he agreed to sponsor the bill.

Mary and her colleagues celebrated a milestone on Wednesday, April 20, when HB 5417 passed through a hearing in front of the Restorative Justice Committee, of which Rep. Ford is the Chair. The next step will be for the bill to be considered before the Illinois House.

In my conversation with Mary, I realized that there was much I did not know about the use of solitary confinement in U.S. prisons. To focus on Illinois: as of 2013, approximately 2,300 prisoners in the state were being kept in solitary confinement. One of the most harrowing aspects of this statistic is the length of time that many prisoners are spending in this type of confinement. Over 60% are in for less than 1 year, 30% for more than 1 year, and 10% for more than 10 years. To put those statistics in perspective, the U.N. considers anything over 15 days in solitary to be torture. There is widespread agreement on the destructive nature of this type of confinement among courts, prison authorities, and bar associations. That isolated confinement causes extreme emotional, physical and psychological trauma is well known – these facts aren’t even up for debate. How then, can we possibly justify the unrestricted use of such confinement?

In brief, HB 5417 would:
- Limit the use of solitary to no more than 5 days in any 150 day period. 
- Use solitary only when absolutely necessary: when there is reasonable cause to believe that an individual poses a serious threat to himself or others, and less restrictive measures would be insufficient. (Right now, prisoners can be sent to solitary for very minor infractions.)
- Ban the use of solitary confinement against people with disabilities, serious medical conditions, pregnancy; people who are LGBT; or anyone under 21 or over 55 years of age. 

Other stipulations in the bill would require a medical and mental evaluation within 24 hours for any person placed in solitary, and documentation - including reviews every two days by prison personnel - explaining why less restrictive confinement would be insufficient. 

Since the 1998 creation of the Persephone Project, Still Point Theatre Collective has been engaged in arts outreach programs to women incarcerated in Illinois correctional facilities. Our Facilitators have encountered hundreds of individuals who, in our program, expressed a sincere need and desire to grow and heal. A criminal justice system, by definition, should provide justice. Rehabilitation should be the ultimate goal - but as Mary observed, it is so often not the case. When it comes to the rights of people in prison, we would be errant to remain silent. 

Mary Dean represents the true meaning of the word activist: one who is actively engaged in the responsibilities of citizenship. Here she has joined with others to painstakingly work within the system to bring about a legal change that would represent a step toward greater humanity and decency – that could save a significant number of human lives from experiencing severe damage. We should extend gratitude to her, to UPLC Executive Director Alan Mills, to Rep. Ford, and to all others involved in bringing this legislation before the Illinois House of Representatives. 

This brings us to YOU – and the role that you can play to support the Isolated Confinement Restriction Act. If you agree that the current unrestricted use of solitary confinement in Illinois correctional facilities is inhumane and unjust, and if you are an Illinois resident – please call or write your state representative to voice your support for HB 5417. 

Use this link to send a letter to your representative:

Additional information/resources:

Mary Dean, of Uptown People's Law Center

Monday, March 7, 2016

Participant Spotlight: Ellen Stenson

Still Point’s Sage Theatre Workshop celebrates the wisdom, creativity, and perspective of older citizens. The Sage Theatre group at Bethany Retirement Center reached a milestone recently when they presented their first performance on February 6th, 2016. Their original production was entitled Mixin’ It Up, Volume 1.

When Ellen Stenson signed up for the class at Bethany, she really didn’t know what to expect. When I asked if she had had any performance experience prior to taking the class, she chuckled, “Absolutely NOT!  Well, maybe I did a skit in fourth grade in Girl Scouts or something. I never thought I had any kind of talent at all. I signed up just to get involved. I went to the first class, and I was hooked!”

Ellen clearly jumped right into the improvisational process without hesitation, and was surprised at how much she fun she had taking an idea and running with it. Facilitator Lisa Wagner-Carollo used prompts about the class members’ favorite actors to initiate improvs, and Ellen created a Robert De Niro character that became central in the performance.  A flirtation with Barbara Streisand and an ensuing love triangle with James Brolin were part of the comical material that the players created in the weekly classes. 

Ellen had some serious stage fright that manifested itself right before the show. She was working through a monologue with Lisa, and she recalls that her performance seemed to be falling apart. She was stumbling over words, forgetting things – she said that she was having a hard time just getting through it. Lisa talked with her about her performance anxiety, and Ellen recalls her advice,”Lisa said to let go and have fun. She said to talk to the audience, really look people in the eye and make a connection.” Ellen remarked that this approach helped her to work past her fears. “I was able to confront some demons,” she confided. Her connection with the audience was so successful that she had interplay with them in the performance, as she tossed out classic De Niro quotes from some of his biggest films and the audience members would shout out the names of the appropriate movie.

I asked Ellen what her biggest take-away was from the entire experience of being in the class and doing her first live performance. She responded, “I found something that I love to do, and I’m good at it! This has brought up my self-esteem and confidence like you wouldn’t believe. I never thought I could do anything like this – and I had so much fun!” She reiterated that she has never missed a class and doesn’t intend to. “I’ll never stop this!” she exclaimed. In our conversation, it was impossible not to grin along with Ellen's infectious enthusiasm. This budding actress has clearly been bitten by the theatre bug, and it is immensely gratifying to see the joy that has been inspired by her participation in Still Point’s Sage Theatre Workshop. 

In Ellen’s story of overcoming her performance fears, we hear that connection is key. The aspect of theatre that urges us to connect – with our own stories, with fellow performers, and with the audience - is powerful and transformative.
Photo of Ellen, taken by Facilitator Steve Grossman

Monday, February 1, 2016

Wild and Precious: Update on Persephone Project at Lake County Jail

“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?” 
- from “The Summer Day” by Mary Oliver

Three weeks ago, Still Point Facilitator Lindsay Porter resumed conducting weekly Persephone Project classes with women at Lake County Jail. Lindsay said that the concept of “identity” has been a theme for reflection and writing in these early sessions. The above quote from Mary Oliver’s poem was used as a springboard for discussion: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

Lindsay remarked that this group is particularly supportive of one another, and that the Persephone Project environment makes honest sharing and imagining possible. I have heard repeatedly from Persephone Project facilitators, and have heard it confirmed in the testimonials of participants, that the supportive community created in this programming is vital. An environment which facilitates reflection, imagination, connection, hope and personal growth supports the women in reclaiming and rebuilding their lives. 

In contemplating identity, the women have an opportunity to be honest about their worst moments and worst decisions, but to also realize that their entire identity need not be defined by these mistakes. That is part of who they are and part of their experience, but their being also contains many other facets that deserve to be acknowledged. The Persephone Project encourages them to explore these facets.

Lindsay shared that the group has also had discussions about how to look for precious and life-affirming moments even in the midst of the most difficult days of their lives. One participant shared that she likes to get up earlier than needed because she has a view of the sunrise from her cell, and the sight of the sun over Lake Michigan is something she looks forward to each morning. 

The purpose of this work is not frivolous. The classes are focused on building skills and providing opportunities for growth that can have a meaningful impact. Lindsay recalls one comment from a participant in a past facilitation: upon completing their performance at the jail, the woman remarked, “This is the first time I’ve ever finished anything.” Her comment describes an event of serious personal significance for this individual: the performance was an opportunity for her to prove to herself that she could commit to a project and see it through to completion.

Lindsay stated that the jail administration at Lake County is very supportive of the Persephone Project, particularly Chief Jennifer Witherspoon, who is diligently focused on providing programs and services for inmates that give them the best chance at a successful life after release.  We are grateful for the opportunity to have a positive contribution to women at Lake County Jail through conducting Persephone Project classes there.

The current Lake County Jail group is planning an original performance, tentatively scheduled for March 4. Honest creative expression takes tremendous courage. We applaud these women, and their willingness to share about their wild and precious lives.

Still Point Facilitator Lindsay Porter

Monday, December 21, 2015

Still Point’s 2015 in Review

2015 was an exciting year for Still Point. For a small nonprofit founded in 1993, we continue to fulfill our mission and expand the scope of our work. Here’s a recap of Still Point happenings in 2015!

Regular performances are an integral part of Still Point’s Imagination Workshop for adults with developmental disabilities, and we are focusing more attention on this aspect as our programming expands. We are proud that our Imagination Workshop facilitation at Orchard Village has featured performances at the Skokie Theater and the Skokie Public Library this year. The group that meets at Ravenswood Presbyterian Church is open to public enrollment, and has had three well-attended performances at the church this year, most recently on December 15.  Groups at L’Arche Chicago, Esperanza, Search, Inc. and El Valor also presented original performances in 2015. Through exposing community audiences to the unique gifts of these remarkable men and women, Still Point cultivates greater community integration and breaks stereotypes. Staff member Steve Grossman has begun working on boosting the technical aspects of our outreach performances, such as sound and lighting, in order to further enhance the experience for both audiences and performers.

While Persephone Project programs continued at Cook County Jail and Lake County Jail, we were also thrilled to receive a grant from the Seabury Foundation in 2015 to support our work with formerly incarcerated women. The ultimate goal of this branch of programming is to prevent recidivism, so continuing services during the critical time following release is a vital key to success, and high on our priority list for 2016. 

Still Point delved into a new branch of programming this year with Sage Theatre Works, which seeks to develop and highlight the gifts of senior citizens. Ongoing weekly classes at the Benedictine Monastery and Bethany Retirement Center, facilitated by Lisa Wagner-Carollo, provide seniors with meaningful challenges and an opportunity to have their gifts acknowledged and appreciated. Participants also enjoy guest speakers from the arts community.

Founder/Artistic Director Lisa Wagner-Carollo continued to perform Haunted by God: The Life of Dorothy Day for audiences across the country in 2015. It seems that Pope Francis, who recently praised Dorothy Day for her tireless service to the poor, is joined by many others who admire Day’s stalwart commitment to living her faith.

Still Point also continues to tour Living Water:  The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church, our production about the modern day resurrection story of St. Gabriel Church in New Orleans, and how the parish banded together to rebuild after the Katrina floods of 2005. We were pleased to present donor-sponsored performances of this production for community nonprofits like Breakthrough Urban Ministries, SisterHouse and St. Martin de Porres House of Hope in 2015 - offering this inspiring play to audiences who might not otherwise have access to theater, such as people in recovery and the homeless. We are currently recasting this play for 2016.

Still Point’s new project on human trafficking, Stealing Souls, is in the early stages of development. We are partnering with activist Ivan Velasco to create a new play raising awareness on the plight of human trafficking victims. Our vision for this particular project is the creation of a two part presentation: The play, with the working title Stealing Souls, will underscore the nature and severity of the problem, featuring real stories of human trafficking. The second part of the presentation will feature a panel discussion with activists from the city in which we are presenting, in order to provide information outlining actions which audience members can take to start to transform the conditions and practices that allow human trafficking to occur. We are currently fundraising for this project.

On November 30 we hosted a reading of Maggie Kast’s new work of historical fiction, A Free, Unsullied Land. This was a great event supporting a long-time friend of Still Point, and encouraging meaningful dialogue about social justice in the U.S.A.

We recently held our Christmas Tea for the Martha Cooper Fund, which raised money for our Imagination Workshop programs. We are very grateful to Lisa Russ of the Chicago Rotary Club for her support in organizing this event. 

At our most recent Board meeting, there was a changing of the guard as Sharilyn Lacy stepped down from her position as Secretary of Still Point’s Board of Directors. Shari served on our Board for six years, first as President and then as Secretary, and we are very grateful for her many years of service. Meanwhile, we welcomed KellyAnn Corcoran to the Board. A talented writer and performer, KellyAnn has worked with Still Point in various artistic capacities, and is an enthusiastic supporter of our mission. We are thrilled to have her step into this position!

As the year winds down, we wish to extend a warm “thank you” to all of our friends and supporters. Whether you give a little or a lot of your time and/or money to Still Point, we know that we could not exist without you. We wish you a very Happy Holiday, full of creativity, community, and connection!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Making Connections with Lein Scott, Former Persephone Project Participant

by Anita Dacanay

According to the Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency:  “Since 2010, the female jail population has been the fastest growing correctional population, increasing by an average annual rate of 3.4 percent.” There is a long list of disturbing statistics regarding various characteristics of the female prison population: Nearly 6 in 10 women in state prisons have experienced physical or sexual abuse in the past. 69 percent reported that the assault occurred before age 18. In 2004, 73% of women in state prisons reported symptoms of mental illness. Women are far more likely to have minor children living with them when arrested than male prisoners.  Considering all of these factors, one begins to appreciate how difficult it is for these women to build a healthy life for themselves upon re-entry. Still Point Managing Director Ben Gray, when asked why so many people are reluctant to give incarcerated women a second chance, recently commented, “Let’s be honest about the fact that many of these women never had a first chance.”

The ultimate goal of Still Point’s Persephone Project for currently and formerly incarcerated women, is to prevent recidivism. As lofty a goal as it might be, we believe that many of these women can recover and learn to thrive with appropriate support services.

Former program participant Lein Scott spoke to me on the phone recently about her life during and after incarceration, and how programs like the Persephone Project can make a difference.  Lein recalls her life on the streets when she was chemically dependent and involved in prostitution. She is very clear about what has helped her recovery. “Connection,” she said. “You have to seek connection, or you end up alone.” But connection is not easy to come by in jail, and perhaps even harder when emerging from incarceration.

Lein remarks, “There’s such a stigma with incarceration. There’s a perception that you will never change.”

I asked Lein what theatre programs could do for women in prison, and she responded by saying, “You have to always be aware that your story can repeat itself, so you have to keep it in front of you.”  She continued by analyzing how improvisation “breaks it down, and can bring about an understanding. It puts a light on your story.”

Theatre demands many kinds of connections, but Lein’s comments underscore the fact that connection with one’s own truth is paramount. Many Persephone Project participants have affirmed that the program carved a safe space in which the women could be truthful with themselves and each other. Knowing that they would not be judged or attacked, they embarked on a process of honest self-discovery.  Having an avenue for self-reflection, as well as for imagining a different path for themselves in the future, is crucial if participants want to develop a real road map to a better life. Lein affirms the value of having an outlet for individual expression, and the hopefulness of the creative process, “When you perform something, you bring it to life.”

Still Point Founder/Artistic Director Lisa Wagner-Carollo recalls what Lein brought to the Persephone Project at Cook County when she participated. “Lein offered a lot of leadership for the group. She was very committed. She had a great attitude and was very enthusiastic.” Each four month session of workshops that Still Point leads in detention centers ends in an on-site performance. Lein had described herself to me as “kind of dramatic” – and Lisa confirmed this when she recalled Lein’s talent, “She is a great actress! She’s so good on stage.”

The leadership that Lein showed when she participated in our program has continued now that she is released. Lein is working with the Dreamcatcher Foundation, which fights to end human trafficking in Chicago. Their website states: “Our not-for-profit organization works to prevent the sexual exploitation of at-risk youth and helps current prostitutes find confidence and stability beyond the limitations of their current lifestyle.”  Lein acknowledges the challenges involved in making connections with these young people, but the Dreamcatcher Foundation has had success with person to person outreach on the streets, and this is what Lein does. She knows that mentorship made a huge difference in her own life, and now she works to pay that forward.

She also acknowledges the importance of a spiritual focus in her own recovery, “It’s easy to lose initiative… you’ve got to get out of that box, you can’t go back to doing the same things.” She spoke of the importance of being humble, and understanding of other people’s circumstances.

After our conversation, I reflected more deeply on the significance of Lein’s words: “You have to seek connection, or you end up alone.” That is a profound truth of the human experience.

For more information on the Dreamcatcher Foundation, please visit:
Statistics on women and incarceration:

Lein Scott, former Persephone Project participant

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Artist Spotlight: Director Virginia Smith

by Anita Dacanay

I was happy to have a chance to talk to the effervescent and accomplished Virginia Smith recently about her history with Still Point Theatre Collective. It was not a short conversation. Virginia first connected with Lisa Wagner-Carollo when Haunted By God: The Life of Dorothy Day was still being produced by Catholic Activist group Call To Action. Former Call to Action Executive Director Ray Wohl asked Virginia to re-work the original production of Haunted By God.

“There were three writers: Lisa, Bob McClory, and Paul Amandes. I immediately got rid of two of them,” Virginia quipped. “I said, ‘Lisa, you’re the actor. You’re too close to the material to make decisions about it.’ Bob was a journalist, and he had already contributed all of the factual information to make sure the play was historically accurate – so we didn’t need him anymore. That left Paul, and I worked with him. I told him where I thought the storyline needed more development, and he would write it… and I would cut it to shreds… (chuckles) I also decided that the show needed music. So I asked Paul to write all of the music that is in the play now.” Now, Virginia has a gentle, musical voice, and a ready smile and giggle – so when she recounts this story it doesn’t come across with any hard edges. This is part of Virginia’s gift – to be relentlessly staunch in communicating her interpretations of scripts and characters, in a style that is simultaneously supportive and convincing for her fellow artists. One always has the sense that she is absolutely clear about what choices will best serve the work.

I have heard several versions of this reworking of Haunted By God, and no matter who tells the story, the happy ending is the same. Under Virginia’s leadership and discerning eyes and ears, what was once a somewhat cumbersome play was honed into a beautifully written, acted, and staged one woman show. Lisa founded Still Point in 1993, and at that point the company took over the show’s production. This powerful portrait of beloved Catholic Activist Dorothy Day is still touring in 2015 - to enthusiastic audiences across North America.

For a number of reasons which include Lisa’s long-standing relationship with her, Virginia has been the first choice to direct Still Point plays throughout the years. Virginia directed Deep Listening and Living Water: The Story of St. Gabriel the Archangel Church. She also directed SPTC’s recent collaboration with Catholic Charities USA, Visionary at the Helm: The Bold Leadership of Monsignor John O’Grady, which enjoyed a successful debut at the Catholic Charities Annual Gathering in Omaha on September 11, 2015. These plays were all produced after Virginia had moved from Chicago to Nebraska to teach at the University of Nebraska in Lincoln – meaning that Virginia traveled to Chicago to work on  the plays. 

I asked Virginia what has driven her to continue working with Still Point over the years, given the distance and her full schedule. She explained that even while she was serving as the Artistic Director of Nebraska Repertory Theatre from 2005 to 2014 in addition to teaching at UNL – she liked having side jobs. A lot of theater work would have demanded more of a time commitment than she had to give with her standing professional obligations; but because Lisa has been willing and able to work around her schedule, Virginia was able to accept the projects.

“We also condense the process.  We often do in a matter of weeks or months what might usually take years to accomplish, in terms of developing new work.” She credits some of that to the fact that there is a creative team that has been established for many years – Lisa, Virginia, and Designer Holly Windingstad have worked together for the past three shows, and I was a co-writer for the past two. I know what Virginia means when she points out the value of trust in the creative team. 

Virginia also appreciates the opportunity to support Still Point’s mission in producing plays that are centered on topics of social justice and spirituality. To elaborate on her motivations, Virginia said, “I find Lisa and her work inspirational. There is always this blessed way that things come together for these plays – lots of lucky breaks and little blessings along the way.” 

Virginia’s extensive background as a theater professional – not only as a Director, but also as a writer, an instructor, and an actor - gives her the perfect skill set to nurture and shape new work. Earlier this year, Virginia was recognized with a Mayor’s Choice Award for her work as AD of Nebraska Repertory Theatre, for acting and directing in numerous roles and productions in Lincoln, and for her contribution as an educator – reminding us that Virginia’s longstanding professional relationship with Still Point is a lucky break and, in fact, a rather big blessing for the company.

Virginia enjoying a walk with husband Doug and their poodles, India Ink and Lola.