Marilyn's Open Road


    America Team


    Chicago, IL


    Public Television: Season 3

  • ON DVD:


Director of Education and Communication
Chicago Shakespeare Theatre

“I think that a human being has so many possibilities.”


Acting & Theatre Education


Success Exploration Fulfillment Struggle


administration, dictionary of occupational titles, emotionally difficult, museums, soul searching, theater, volunteering


Marilyn Halperin had no knowledge of theater or volunteer administration, yet both are paths that have led her to where she is now. Before Marilyn came to the renowned Shakespeare Theatre in Chicago, Ill., first as a volunteer and then as its director of education and communications, she worked 11 years as a volunteer director at The Morton Arboretum, a nonprofit dedicated to planting and conserving trees. But during her time at the museum, she began volunteering for a small storefront theater, the Shakespeare Theatre (then known as the Shakespeare Repertory), when it was only a small group of people working out of a one-bedroom apartment. Marilyn loved it and felt a calling to help grow the startup theater. Soon enough, she looked forward to her volunteer job more so than her regular job. In 1992, Marilyn left to work at the theater full time to help build it into a rooted institution in Chicago. Since coming to the theater, she has helped create programs that have shaped the way that Shakespeare is being taught in classrooms throughout the Midwest as well as programs serving people with disabilities. Under Marilyn's guidance, the theater has become one of the most respected curriculum-integrated, arts-in-education programs in the country.

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