Her extensive directing credits include world premieres, regional premieres, and re-envisioning of classic work. Select credits include directing the smash hit and long- extended Hand to God (Studio Theatre); Venus in Fur (Goodman Theatre); the world premieres of Sarah Gubbins' Cocked (Victory Gardens Theater), fml: how Carson McCullers saved my life Steppenwolf Theatre), and The Kid Thing (About Face Theatre/Chicago Dramatists); the critically lauded The Whale and Rest by Samuel D. Hunter (Victory Gardens Theater); the Jeff Award winning productions of In Arabia We'd All be Kings and The Brief History of Helen of Troy (Steep Theatre), site-specific performances of the operas Acis and Galatea (Chicago Cultural Center) and Bluebeard's Castle (New Millennium Orchestra), and co-creating and directing a 6-hour theatrical adaptation of Wagner's Ring Cycle (The Building Stage).
"Joanie is a phenomenal choice to lead WaterTower Theatre's artistic vision into a new era," said WaterTower Theatre Board President Paul Shultz. "She has the unique combination of being a successful director of both new works and classics in the worlds of theatre and opera."
"We set out on a lengthy search to find the ideal candidate, someone
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who has both a passion for theatre as well as an understanding of the business side of arts management," said Derek Blount, Chairman of the Search Committee. "We also sought a leader who would bring new vision, new focus, and new creative energy to WaterTower Theatre, someone with a track record of developing transformative theatre, and someone who is in sync with ideas and events that are shaping people's consciousness across the country. Joanie meets and exceeds all these requirements and is the perfect choice to lead WaterTower Theatre into a new chapter in its history."
"Joanie is one of the most gifted young directors working in our business today and I very much look forward to partnering with her," said Managing Director Gregory Patterson. "She will bring a daring new perspective to the work we produce on our stage while respecting the work we've done in the past and the incredible community which has supported us for 20 years. She is passionate, creative, genuine, insightful, and intuitive, possessing an artistic maturity that will fuse beautifully with the culture here at WaterTower Theatre that makes us unique in our community."
"I am so excited by the opportunity to lead WaterTower Theatre's artistic contributions to a new level in an already dynamic cultural landscape in the DFW Metroplex," said Joanie Schultz, Artistic Director-designate. "WaterTower Theatre has a rich history and deep roots in the community and I'm looking forward to building on the solid foundation established by former Producing Artistic Director Terry Martin."
"It is my belief that creating plays that express our contemporary moment is the greatest contribution we can give to the world as theatre artists," said Schultz. "By our attempt to articulate our unique experiences in this place now, we are fostering desperately needed conversation in the most needed human way, through the live experience of other people. The consciousness created in the empathy of the shared experience an audience has with the actors on stage is irreplaceable by anything on a screen. And it is my passion for this expression and what it fosters that drives my work as a director and producer of theatre."
"I look forward to getting to know the Addison community and its leaders," said Schultz. "The Town of Addison is so generous in its support of the arts, in particular WaterTower Theatre. I look forward to partnering with them on our collective desire to produce an exceptional theatrical experience that is unique, innovative, and entertaining, opening doors to bring greater understanding to the many challenges that face our community."