Shirley Serotsky is a director, dramaturg, artistic leader/programmer, and educator; she joined the staff of the Hangar Theatre in Ithaca, NY as the Associate Artistic Director/Education Director in fall of 2019 after over 15 years in the Washington, DC area. Before moving to Ithaca, she served as staff dramaturg and public programmer for Mosaic Theater Company and as a co-director of the Director’s Intensive for the Kennedy Center Amerian College Theater Festival. Between 2008-2016 she held a series of leadership positions (including Interim Artistic Director for the 2015-2016 season) at Theater J, a professional theatre company committed to producing timely, and often politically-charged, new plays and revivals. During her time at Theater J, Shirley was an integral part of season planning, public programming, casting, artistic oversight, future visioning, budgeting, and producing for eight mainstage seasons with 7-8 full productions and 2-3 festivals per year. As a freelance artist, Shirley has directed plays, musicals, and TYA at numerous theatres around the greater DC-area and nationally.
As an artist and programmer Shirley is drawn to theatrical works that artfully combine the personal and political in engaging and inventive ways. She is committed to investigating the conversations that happen after the show, as well as the story we tell in the theatre. She is passionate about expanding the range of stories and voices represented on stage, for both adult and young audiences.
Shirley has taught and mentored students from the age of six to eighty-six in the fields of directing, acting, improvisation, dramaturgy, play analysis, theatre appreciation, new play development and auditioning techniques in both a classroom setting (extra-curricular and at the University level) and for resident theatre education programs. She maintains that introducing young people to artistic expression is the most important work we can do--not only to help develop the next generation of artists, but to nurture the next generation of well-rounded, empathic, curious and thoughtful human beings.
Training: BFA, North Carolina School of the Arts; MFA, Catholic University.