Leah came to Charcoalblue in 2019 with six years' experience as a theatre administrator, producer, and fundraiser including four years in the San Francisco Bay Area, working with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, American Conservatory Theatre, and Z Space. Most recently, Leah spent two years as Managing Director of Strawdog Theatre Company in Chicago, IL. Leah served as Charcoalblue's Chicago Studio Administrator for three years, and is now the Business Development Coordinator for our North American theatre and acoustics practices. Originally from Austin, TX, she has a BA in History from the University of Rochester in Rochester, NY. She now lives in Oak Park, IL and is affiliated with our growing Chicago studio.
What qualities should a 'great performance space' have?
I love venues with warm, welcoming, and comfortable Front of House spaces. I think it sets up the audience to activate the space and later the performance in a way that can be pretty magical.
What first sparked your love of theatre or performing arts?
Performing in a 7th-grade production of Bye Bye Birdie! In college, I finally realized being on stage was not my thing—instead, I got my kicks production managing my student theatre group’s shows in a fraternity house basement. Those experiences led me to company management, and later to fundraising and theatre management.
If you could recommend visitors to Chicago take in one sight, what would it be?
Enjoy a beverage at one of the bars in the stunning and historic Chicago Athletic Association! Or go see a baseball game if you’re here in the summer — you can get into a White Sox game for, like, $7. Or go walk around the free and beautiful Lincoln Park Zoo! (Woops, that was three recommendations!)