I moved to Staunton, VA, from Central California in the Fall of 2000 to attend Mary Baldwin College. I had never heard of Shenandoah Shakespeare and, while I’d done some theatre in high school, I entered MBC as a physics major (with the lofty goal of becoming a roller coaster designer). Spring Semester of my freshman year (2001), S2 performed Hamlet in one of the art galleries inside the Hunt Dining Hall.
I was utterly drawn in. I changed to a double major in English and theatre that Spring and the next September, I was in Standing Room Only at the opening night of the Blackfriars Playhouse (I even got interviewed for the Staunton News Leader!).
I turned a laser focus to early modern drama for my undergraduate studies, helped to design the MLitt/MFA program at Mary Baldwin College as a part of an undergraduate student committee, founded Students Aiding Shenandoah Shakespeare (an MBC volunteer organization), and spent six weeks studying at Oxford University. By the time I graduated in 2004, my path was clear. I got my MLitt in teaching and my MFA in dramaturgy from MBC (with a stint as an ASC Stage Manager/Prompter during the 2007 Actors’ Renaissance Season in the middle). In 2008, I became the Playhouse Manager at theBlackfriars Playhouse; then moved from Playhouse Manager to Academic Resources and Group Sales Manager to my current position as Marketing Manager.
Though complex mathematics rarely makes an appearance in the work I do, the move from roller coasters to Shakespeare has felt totally natural and I couldn’t be happier to work with the words and people I love in a community that embraces the arts and Shakespeare’s Theatre of Imagination.
– Christina Sayer Grey, Staunton, VA, ASC Marketing Manager