Elynmarie Kazle

Kazle(1)Akron, Ohio

Inducted as a Fellow: 2007

Your earliest memories of the Institute?

My teachers at the University of Minnesota were Dick Durst and Patricia Dennis, they convinced me to attend my first conference in Overland Park Kansas in 1980.  Best memories from that conference were the Banquet speaker, Geoffrey Holder (the uncola nut dude), eating at the Lobster Pot and having the opportunity to get to know corporate representatives from companies such as Kliegl.

Favorite USITT memory?

My favorite actual memory is the first time I walked out on stage at the conference for the 1992 Seattle New Products Showcase. The local chair (Erica?) of that event and I had a very specific strategy to revive this event and it was fun to give the vendors as well as myself our 15 minutes of fame by making a show out of it again.  My favorite memory (as I imagine it in my mind) because I was not present, was when I was named a Fellow.

Short list of career highlights:

  • Stage Manager for 25+ years dance, theatre and opera including Brooklyn Academy of Music
  • 10 years touring with Paul Linke and Time Flies When You’re Alive (serving as production manager, stage manager and lighting designer), in LA, NYC, across the USA and Internationally
  • Established and ran a West Coast Office of the stage directors and choreographers union with the goal to get choreographers represented in film and television and to engage and provide a forum for stage directors on the West Coast
  • Having the lighting designer Tom Skelton as my teacher and mentor.
  • Working on original productions and important remounts with the original artists such as Bent with Martin Sherman, Baryshikov at BAM and Derek Walcott and Galt McDermott on The Joker of Seville (last one was my grad school showcase).
  • Founding  member on the committees of both the Arts Alive Awards (Akron) and the Ovation Awards (Los Angeles)
  • Creating and establishing the USITT Stage Management Mentoring Project; and then using that as a model, Creating a highly active stage management program for Akron School for the Arts

Short list of your involvement in the Institute:

  • Served on the Board almost four full terms - two terms as a director at large and almost two as VP Membership & Development
  • Served on seven conference committees as well as the original format of the conference committee for the board.
  • Created Stage Management Mentoring Project for the Boston 1991 Annual Conference.
  • For the 1992 Seattle conference –worked with the Conference Committee to renew and re-create The New Products Showcase.
  • Expanded the funding base and the adjudication system for the Young Designers & Technicians scholarship program during my five years as VP of Membership & Development.
  • Served on Finance, Publications, Nominations, Membership, Grants and Fellowship committees, and as Vice Commissioner of the Management Commission.
  • Have served actively as a Director at Large for the Ohio Valley Regional Section
  • Have participated in the Southern California section and the Northern Boundary section.

If you were to make a short list of the memorable USITT characters that have made a difference to you, who would they be?

Pat MacKay, Bill Byrnes, Gino Montgomery, Dick Durst,  Christine Kaiser, Leland Watson, Randy Earle, Sarah Nash Gates, Rick Stephens,  David Fleming,  Andi Lyons, and Ron Olson as well as getting to know those folks in my text books, Oscar Brockett, Richard Pilbrow, Harold Burris Meyer, and the folks from Flying by Foy.

Anything you want to say about being a Fellow? 

I am honored to be a part of this group and it was a delightful surprise since I AM the youngest Fellow.

Anything you'd like to add about what the USITT means to you personally?

Best leadership training in the world. Best friends on the planet.


  • Ohio Network Newsletter (five years)
  • Articles in Sightlines

Contact: See Membership Directory & Resource Guide