|Jeff Frank age 14|
What do you like most about your job?
I love being in rehearsal and working with adult professionals and young performers. The blend of experienced actors and energized and talented young people makes for an exciting and collaborative atmosphere.
If you could do any other job in the world, what would it be?
Hmmm … a couple things come to mind. I have the greatest respect for classroom teachers. I've been in a lot of classrooms over the years doing workshops, not sure I could be in the trenches every day, but sometimes I think I'd like to try. Also, as a big Abraham Lincoln fan (I've written and performed a one-man show), I sometimes think about getting into politics, but I wonder if it is possible to truly make a difference in that arena any more.
How long did it take to become an Artistic Director and what did you have to do?
I think it is a lifelong process, so I'm still becoming the Artistic Director I want to be. The journey started in Junior High studying theater and continued through High School and undergrad. Then I earned my MFA in Child Drama at the University of Utah in 1990. My first job after grad school was actually as an Artistic Director for Project InterAct in Austin, TX. I learned a great deal on the job, traveling with the company each day and watching shows I directed performed over and over. Then I freelanced as a teacher, actor and director for a few years. Before becoming Director of Outreach at a regional theatre in Pennsylvania. While I was there, Rob headhunted me to become the Education/Academy Director at First Stage in 1996. I loved how the organization did things, and it was a chance for me to come back home to Wisconsin, so I leapt at the opportunity. I served in that role, eventually directing more and more until 2003 when I became the Artistic Director.
|Jeff at a recent rehearsal of BIG, THE MUSICAL|