Lesley Schisgall Currier is the founding Managing Director of Marin Shakespeare Company.
During her eighteen-year year tenure, she has done everything that needed to be done to get the company on a solid financial and artistic footing. “Everything” includes acting, directing, constructing sets and props, board building, fundraising, special events and development in the broadest sense.
Marin Shakespeare Company is widely recognized for its professional productions each summer at Forest Meadows Amphitheatre on the campus of Dominican University of California. Under Lesley’s leadership, MSC has garnered national attention and won many awards. MSC is also renowned for its educational outreach programs for thousands of Marin students each year.
Innovative programs are Lesley’s hallmark. In 1991 she began education programs that now serve more than 5,000 students annually with classes, summer camps, in-school and after school programs, student matinees and a Teen Touring Company. More than thirty-five schools participate each year. There are free outreach programs to young people from Marin City and the Canal neighborhood, as well as to inmates at San Quentin. Lesley empowers students and instills the desire to use their own abilities and expand their creativity. Directing is another strong point. Her adaptation of A Thousand and One Arabian Nights, which she wrote and directed, was nominated for “Best Overall Production of 2002” by the Bay Area Critics Circle. Her original adaptation of Alice in Wonderland delighted audiences at Marin Shakespeare Company in 2006.
Lesley took her vision ‘on the road’ by helping start a Shakespeare festival in Los Barriles in Baja, Mexico. For five years Lesley and husband Robert, Marin Shakespeare’s Artistic Director, put on annual Shakespearean productions with the locals, with Lesley co-directing and acting in all five productions. In 2006 Lesley arranged for Marin and Baja Shakespeare to host the Shakespeare Theater Association of America (STAA) conference in tiny Los Barriles.
Lesley holds a B.A. in Religion from Princeton University, where she received the Frances LeMoyne Page Award for Theatre. She served on Theatre Bay Area’s Theatre Service Committee for six years, is past president of STAA, and has twice been a panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts, an honor bestowed only on the nation’s best and brightest. The proud mother of Jackson and Nate, and only forty-four, Lesley is an exquisite role model for young women in the arts.