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Julian Wiles, Founder and Producing Artistic Director
Marybeth Clark, Associate Artistic Director

August 3, 2016

Meet Helen Wolfe, Charleston Stage’s Director of Development

Filed under: Back Stage Blog — julianw @ 1:56 pm


Q: Where did you grow up?  Were there any activities you did as a child that led to your passion for the arts?

A: I was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska, and spent my entire childhood immersed in the arts. My stage debut was dancing for 36 seconds as a Candy Cane in the holiday ballet The Nutcracker, and from there I found my niche in theatre, making my debut as Scout in To Kill a Mockingbird at Nebraska Wesleyan University. I was able to perform in numerous community theatre productions and take dance, piano, voice and oboe lessons through high school, under the direction of incredible teachers who became my role models and taught me invaluable arts and life lessons. My parents showed me how important it is to support the arts in your community, by serving on local boards such as Nebraskans for Public Television, the Lincoln Community Playhouse, the Lincoln Arts Council and the Sheldon Art Association which, in turn, introduced me to the field of arts management.


Q: Where did you receive training?  How did this prepare you for your work in the theatre world?

A: I attended University of Evansville (Evansville, IN) and received a B.S. in Theatre Management. Though my degree was very specialized, I also got a broad liberal arts education. Since the Theatre Management program was small, I was able to delve into many different parts of arts administration such as publicity, house management, group sales, working with the Theatre Society board and an Adopt-a-Student program where community residents “adopted“ far from home theatre majors.

I also had amazing summer internships while in college, spending one summer interning in General Management and Special Events at La Jolla Playhouse in La Jolla, California, another summer interning in Development at Manhattan Theatre Club in New York City, New York and another as a Development Apprentice for Spoleto Festival USA, which brought me to Charleston for the first time.


Q: Briefly describe your position at Charleston Stage and what you do for the company.

A: As Director of Development I create and execute Charleston Stage’s annual fundraising plan, securing financial support from individuals, foundations and corporations through direct support and special events. In general I help our patrons and audience members feel more connected to Charleston Stage on a personal level, and show them how important their support is to the company.


Q: Where have you worked previously before Charleston Stage?

A: I first moved to Charleston to work in Special Events for Spoleto Festival USA, then secured a position here at Charleston Stage as the Donor Relations and Special Events Manager. I returned to Spoleto Festival USA for 3 years, working in a variety of Development positions before transitioning from performing arts to cultural arts and advocacy as the Strategic Partnerships Coordinator for Historic Charleston Foundation for two and a half years. I’m thrilled to be back in the performing arts arena with Charleston Stage.


Q: What do you do in your spare time?

A: I enjoy staying active by taking fitness classes and spending time outside, especially with my husband Glenn and miniature dachshund Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird has been a very influential play and book in my life). I also love to read, play piano, hide out in local coffee shops, give back to the community through organizations such as the Junior League of Charleston, and spend quality time with family and friends.





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