Meet the Staff, Part One (Donna Shute Provencher)
Just a brief introduction:
My name is Donna Shute Provencher, and I was born and bred twenty minutes outside of Washington, D.C. (in Silver Spring, Maryland, which is technically south of the Mason-Dixon line but don't ever tell a Maryland native that!). I have been in the theater since I was six and started directing when I was eighteen (first show I directed was Hamlet -- mostly because I am an overachiever who occasionally fancies myself to be Orson Welles), and graduated with a bachelor's degree in English (Christendom College, 2006) then moved to Atlanta for a year and a half and taught high school English and drama in Fayette County and did theater in Atlanta and Marietta. My high schoolers won some Georgia State High School Association awards for a production of A Midsummer Night's Dream and I also directed and music-directed Guys and Dolls as well. I then moved back to D.C. for grad school and got a master's degree in English with a specialization in drama (Catholic University of America, 2010). I am, however, an English-Ph.D-dropout as I was one of five applicants in the country accepted to the M.F.A. in Directing program at the New School for Drama in New York in 2010, but unfortunately was unable to attend due to financial issues.
I have been heavily active in the D.C. theater circuit since I moved back to D.C. from Atlanta in 2007 (served on the Board at Kensington Arts Theatre and have worked on 23 shows in the last three and a half years at four or five theaters as director, actor, assistant director, stage manager, sound designer, or crew/techie)... I definitely consider myself primarily a director, however, and that will always be my first love in the theater. I won best production and the Cliff Smith directing award at the Maryland state one-acts competition (MCTFA) in January 2012 and the same show placed second at the Eastern States competition (ESTA) in April 2012. I'm also a writer (mostly nonfiction -- memoir, social commentary, psychopathology and neuroscience), a film junkie, a caffeine addict, a barefoot hippie bohemian, as well as (recent development!) an Army wife. I married the Boy this past August, turned 27 two days later, and left my entire life behind to move to the Columbus area in September because he is a captain in the Army who just got back from Afghanistan this year and is stationed at Fort Benning. I was fortunate enough to stumble into working on Little Mermaid at NHCT and from that transitioned to borrowing their space to forge our own production company. I am the Artistic Director of Xanadu Road Productions and will be the director of our first production. Of course, I also say all this not because I'm trying to force my resume on anyone unasked, but because when you meet me for the first time I guarantee you will absolutely swear I am fifteen years old (I promise not to be offended... this is a regular occurrence), and I just want to assure you that I have been in this wonderful business we call show for 20 years and you will in fact be in capable hands!
Tune in next time for an intro to our amazing Managing Director/Marketing Director and stage manager, Amy Guinn McDow!