Director of Innovation and Engagement
Cathleen has been attending non-profit meetings since the age of 2. Bundled up with her mother, a former nun-turned-homeless activist-turned-ordained minister, Cathleen knows innately what community-based collaboration looks like. As a young adult, drawn to comedy and performing arts, Cathleen immersed herself in the study of improvisation and devised theater in Chicago. This foundational experience supported her journey ahead as a performer, producer, and teaching artist in Boston and New York City. Always attracted to Viola Spolin’s early, experimental years as a Social Worker during the Depression, where she integrated theater technique into community building, Cathleen sought opportunities to connect dispirit communities through the arts. Joining Opening Act, first as a teaching artist in 2008 and later as Director of Programs in 2013, Cathleen has collaborated with students, colleagues, community partners, and supporters to build a wide-ranging network of joy, creativity, and opportunity. Serving as the Director of Innovation and Engagement currently, Cathleen is bridging Opening Act to the digital landscape to expand access and foster a community that knows no borders. Cathleen has a B.A. in Performance Studies from Goddard College, was a fall 2015 New York Community Trust Leadership Fellow, and is currently studying Arts and Culture Strategy at the University of Pennsylvania.