Professional Women’s Network gets behind-the-curtain look at CTC


Chautauqua Theater Company’s Vivienne Benesch, artistic director, and Sarah Clare Corporandy, managing director, laugh in the CTC buisness office. Photo by Eric Shea.

Lori Humphreys | Staff Writer

Chautauqua Theater Company Artistic Director Vivienne Benesch and Managing Director Sarah Clare Corporandy sat on the sofa in the CTC business office. They described their partnership, which requires balancing the creative with the practical.

At 1 p.m. today during the Chautauqua Professional Women’s Network program in the Chautauqua Women’s Clubhouse, they will, like Dorothy from the The Wizard of Oz, tear the curtain away to reveal the business behind the art created on the Bratton Theater stage.

Their comments, moderated by CTC Artistic Associate Sarah Hartmann, will define the differences in their roles as they live the answer to questions such as “What does it take to run a successful theater as a team, as two women?” They will also explore the education and professional achievements required to run a theater, both onstage and backstage. It’s like Broadway-meets-business day.

For the presentation, Broadway wins. Both Benesch and Corporandy light up a room. They are vivacious, thoughtful and persuasive defenders of the theater. Both support the expansion of women in managerial positions in the theater. This year there are five women members of CTC senior staff and two men.

Benesch has been CTC artistic director since 2005. She has found success as an actress, director and teacher.

Corporandy worked behind the scenes at CTC from 2009–2011 as company manager. In September 2011, she became managing director. After earning her master’s degree, she was managing director at the Pig Iron Theatre Company in Philadelphia. She is a professor at Savannah College of Art and Design.

Hartmann returns to CTC for a second time. Her work description includes coordination of the New Play Workshop Festival and directing the conservatory’s end-of-season Bratton Late Night cabaret. She is a doctoral candidate in theater and performance studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara.