Amy (Singer) Kaissar
Managing Director, Bristol Riverside TheatreBucks County, Pennsylvania
Amy Singer (now Kaissar) can remember going to the theatre at the tender age of two, taken in hand by her theatre-lover mom. Kaissar also remembers entering Greeley as a freshman and planting herself in the theatre director’s office, yearning to do everything there was to do there, except perform. While at Greeley, she in fact did “everything”, acting, directing, stage managing, designing, “tech”, and she assistant directed as well. Mr. Coons, the Greeley Theatre teacher at the time, served her well by giving her a foundation and constantly feeding her the important theatre texts, for example, “The Greeks”, Stanislavski, Ibsen, Chekhov. She says these great playwrights and thinkers on the theatre gave her the basic building blocks of her future professional life.
Kaissar doesn’t remember any torment about which college(s) to consider. She went to the guidance department at Greeley, they put the Carnegie Mellon University brochure in her hands (http://www.drama.cmu.edu/110/directing-u), she saw some of the names of their graduates, and was sold! Fortunately, she was accepted into their B.F.A. program, the “easiest decision (I) ever made”. At Carnegie-Mellon, Kaissar pursued a directing major in their theatre conservatory program.
After graduating in 1999, she moved to New York City and actually started her own theatre company with a classmate, as a way to start her directing career. They ran their Epiphany Theater Company for 10 years, until Kaissar realized she needed to learn more about producing, beyond her hands on experience. She enrolled in Columbia University, pursuing an MFA in theatre management and producing, graduating in 2005. (See http://arts.columbia.edu/mfa-theatre-management-producing-concentration .) Several years ago she made the move to Bristol Riverside Theatre (http://www.brtstage.org/) where she is the Managing Director.
Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT) is a professional regional 300-seat theatre in Bucks County, PA. Since 1986, BRT has brought acclaimed professional theater to Bucks County and maintained a long-term commitment to finding and developing new plays. Now in its 26th season, the theatre produces 243 performances every year.
As Managing Director, Kaissar is responsible for the business side of the theatre’s work. When asked to describe her job she said,”I make sure that the right people, with the right resources, are able to make theatre. I work in a very close partnership with the Artistic Director and Founding Director on everything from season planning to marketing”.
Her advice to Greeley theatre students is that if you are serious about a career in theatre after Greeley, it’s crucial to put yourself in an environment with the best teachers and colleagues that you possibly can.