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Celebrating the members of the League of Professional Theatre Women

Michelle Haines

Michelle Haines, member of the League of Professional Theatre WomenAdvertising/Marketing, Directing
New York, New York USA

Where do you look for inspiration?
Inspiration usually finds me in unexpected ways. I feel it’s one of those things that you can’t force; you just have to let it happen to you. Even when I’m deep in research for an upcoming project, I just try to stay open instead of having a pre-determined idea of what will be the source of inspiration. Being tuned in to the environment around you can open doors to new ideas, whether it be a song that catches your ear, an amazing piece of art, the way the sun hits the water, an incredible performance or production, a link to an interesting article on Twitter, good TV like Mad Men, bad TV like anything on E!, coffee with a friend, deliciously prepared food, the lights of a city, the quiet of the country, a deep sleep – really anything can be the source of inspiration. Like great theater, the best things happen when you live in the moment.

The real trick in this business is taking that inspiration and applying it to your work in a productive, clear and compelling way. My current theater experience comes down to focusing on two disciplines – theater directing and working as a marketing professional in the industry. I dive into projects for both with an open mind to whatever the material inspires, but it is only the relentless and dedicated work behind it that can ultimately recreate the same inspirational response for audiences when they interact with the material, whether it is as an audience member attending a play or the media that inspires them to buy a ticket to the play.

I feel most like myself when I …
When I’m collaborating with a group of people on anything that requires our collective creativity. I feed off of the energy of the process and really come into my own in that environment.

What is your best escape?
I do love spending time in anywhere that can be defined as wine country, though the Northern Sonoma region and Walla Walla Valley are my favorite retreats.

Michelle Haines, currently Sales and Marketing Manager at DreamWorks Theatricals, recently moved to NYC from Seattle, where she worked for various organizations including Theatre Puget Sound, Empty Space Theater and Broadway Across America. She also ran her own theatre company –Burnt Studio Productions — during her twelve years in the Emerald City.

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