The Telluride Theater has announced the creation of a new full-time position and the hiring of Mary Higgins as its new Development and Operations Manager. Higgins joins the company after five years as an actress, and audiences may recognize her from several of Shakespeare’s plays. In this new role, Higgins will manage the Telluride Theatre’s fundraising and grant writing efforts as well as donor/member relations.
“Having Mary on board really brings together such a well-rounded team at the Telluride Theatre,” said Production Director Melissa Trn. “Mary’s continued connection to TT as a performer and collaborator makes her an invaluable asset to our organization in terms of connections to patrons and donors alike. We are very excited about the strong addition of Telluride Theater’s female-led leadership .”
Her previous nonprofit theater credits include Denver’s Creative Strategies for Change, Minneapolis’ Pillsbury House Theatre, Boulder’s BETC Colorado, and local institutions including Telluride College and Telluride Historical Museum. Non-profit organizations.
“While I’m still looking forward to acting in the theater, I’m really excited to learn a different type of role, one that’s uniquely focused on supporting the Telluride arts community,” Higgins said in a recent press release. “We have so many talented artists here, from dancers to directors, technical artists and teaching artists, and I want to continue to make sure they have the space and opportunity to grow in a way that matches our thriving economy.”
Higgins attended Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland, where she earned a Master of Philosophy degree, majoring in theater theory and performance.
Higgins said what drew her to apply for the new position was the enthusiasm shown by the company’s leadership, not just Trn but art director and company founder Sasha Cucciniello.
“Theatre is an all-encompassing art form, and I strongly believe it is for everyone and part of a healthy community,” Higgins said. “The leadership of the organization appealed to me not necessarily because of the female factor, but more because I knew the people at the helm were as passionate about the importance of drama as I was. I mean passionately, like Love Wrong. So I think if you have to go the extra mile for something you believe in, you want to be around people who feel the same.”
She said the power of drama can be summed up in one word – storytelling.
“It’s the oldest form of communication, the human connection, and the beautiful, loud curiosity of trying to figure out the meaning of any existence we happen to come across,” Higgins said. “We all know love and loss, mourning and joy. What it’s like to dance the ground, and if we don’t, it gives us the opportunity to see what life can be, for better or for worse. It’s lifeblood.”
For this new off-stage role, Higgins is responsible for donor relations and nurturing the growth of the company’s financial health.
“The position primarily consists of supporting the theater in its overall development and efficacy,” she explained. “I guess it’s like the godfather in some ways. While it wasn’t created by me, I keep an eye on it, offer advice and support, and help it achieve its goals and projects through practical day-to-day management, becoming a happy and fulfilling Space. Thankfully, theater staff is an all-hands-on environment, so we all do it in a variety of ways, depending on what might be needed.”
Higgins has appeared in a number of Telluride Theater productions, including last spring’s original adaptation of “The Odyssey.”
“The show allows for a lot of physical movement, mixes art forms, and touches on the classic hero’s journey,” she said. “But mostly, I would like to see the collaborative nature of this work come back again and go further. This style of work was at the heart of my teenage practice at festivals and art venues, and it presents a unique opportunity to Explore it on a different level than traditional scripted drama.”
To become a member or make a donation to the Telluride Theatre, please contact Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Telluride Theater is dedicated to advancing the performing arts in our region through innovative productions, educational programs and community engagement. The plays we create live in moments of real human connection, promote joyful celebration, and are an open dialogue in which all audiences can participate. Learn more at telluridetheatre.org.