‘I wake up in the morning excited to get to work at a theatre’
To mark International Women’s Day this month – and to call attention to the many perhaps unexpected theatre careers off the stage, we are asking six of the many women who work, play and make magic here at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts their thoughts on a series of questions related to women in theatre. Today: Why is theatre important to you as a woman?
• Lydia Garcia, Executive Director, Equity and Organization Culture: “I think we have the best jobs in the world. I wake up in the morning excited to get to work at a theatre. I think in so many ways we are so privileged to be in these spaces. I am excited to have those opportunities, not only to keep seeing fierce women in every field doing incredible work in collaboration with our male-identified peers, but then seeing the impact that it has on our audiences, and especially on the young women and the girls who are the next wave coming up behind us. I am excited that, as women in theatre, we are preparing the ground for the women who are coming up right behind us. I think it’s very exciting – and we have a lot of work to do.”
• Eileen Garcia, Assistant Properties Director: “Theatre is not important to me because I am a woman. Theatre is important to me because I’ve always been in love with telling stories. It’s been really great working for the Denver Center because it is dedicated to staging new plays. There have actually been opportunities for me to see myself, finally, in some of the plays. Being a woman, and being a woman of color, and being a woman in a managerial position, I finally see myself occasionally in some of the plays. That doesn’t happen in a lot of places that are completely dedicated to classics. You’ll see women who are typecast in certain stereotypical roles like the whore or the ingénue or the strict mother. When you focus on women’s stories and their circumstances, that can educate, teach empathy and promote social action. There’s something so magical about creating and collaborating together toward a common goal to create this beautiful work of art that really transports an audience into another place or life experience. It’s magical.”
• Helen Masvikeni, Marketing Project Manager: “Because I get to be a part of doing that very beautiful work of not only telling people’s stories but telling what the future could hold. With every story, we are shaping people and culture and helping to move a needle. My goodness, what a great responsibility!”
• Tara Miller, Senior Event Manager: “I love theatre. I grew up with theatre. I was not really a part of making it, but I attended with my parents, mostly my mom. We had theatre subscriptions for the longest time. For me, theatre was something tangible and touchable. I think that was a really important part of my childhood. I didn’t want to lose that, and that was part of the appeal of joining the Denver Center. I was able to continue my professional career, which is in events and operations, and also both contribute to live theatre – and be a champion of it.
• Cecilia Kim, Ticket Agent: “Theatre is important to women because of the representation that it can give to us: on stage, backstage, stage managing, technical, jobs, everywhere. It’s just another place that women have to be represented, and it’s one of the places that can show people and make it more normal.”
• Leslie Channell, Director of Business Operations, Education: “I think it’s worth noting that the Denver Center has recently hired Gretchen Hollrah as Chief Operating Officer because she’s such a powerhouse person, and it’s interesting, I think, to have a woman in that role. That’s kind of what I do for DCPA Education: I manage all the operations. It’s been interesting to see administrative roles change over time, especially since I’ve gotten out of college, because jobs for women have gone from secretarial work to being at the table and being part of the decision-making process. I find that empowering, and it’s happening all over this organization.”
Emily Holden is the Theatre Company Marketing Intern.
More women in theatre careers at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts
For each day of this series, we will use different photos to feature more women and the jobs they perform here at the DCPA. To see their names and titles, scroll your cursor over each photo.