Meet our Director of New Works, Luan Schooler

Luan Schooler was born under the yellowing skies of West Texas, where she trailed her big sister into dance classes and community theatre. When she was twelve, the family packed up and moved to Anchorage, Alaska, where play practice and recitals continued to consume her. After being kicked out of high school (because of a naughty role in a play, obviously), she became an acting apprentice at Alaska Rep, and was eventually accepted into the theatre program at California Institute of the Arts. One thing led to another and a life in theatre was launched. Over the years, she morphed from acting, directing and writing, into dramaturgy and literary management.

She has worked with many theaters around the country, most notably with Perseverance Theatre in Juneau, Alaska (where she met and married the marvelous Tim), Denver Center Theatre Company, Cal Shakes, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and Berkeley Rep. She has been lucky to develop new plays with exceptional artists including David Edgar, Naomi Iizuka, Salman Rushdie, Dominique Serrand, Rinde Eckert, Leon Ingulsrud, Lisa Peterson, Paula Vogel, Per Olav Sorensen, Molly Smith, John Luther Adams, and many others.

It is good to be lucky. In the Mid-Aughts, she took a seven-year sabbatical from theatre to be a cheesemonger, and opened a shop in Portland with Tim. There, she worked with legendary wheels such as Comte, Vacherin Mont D’Or, Lincolnshire Poacher, and Rogue River Blue, plus meats and chocolates. Although delicious, she happily left it behind to return to theatre.

In 2015, she joined Artists Rep to launch Table | Room | Stage, the theatre’s new play development program. Through T|R|S, she is developing work with Yussef El Guindi, Larissa FastHorse, Andrea Stolowitz, Linda Alper, Dael Orlandersmith, Hansol Jung, Steve Rathje, Anthony Hudson, and Susannah Mars. She also does production dramaturgy on most of Artists Rep’s shows, and keeps her thumb in a variety of other pies (including working with Lisa Peterson on her translation of Hamlet for OSF’s Play On! Project). Her favorite book is Mr. Pip by Lloyd Jones, she is learning Spanish (no es tan fácil con un viejo cerebro!), and Teddy the dog accompanies her to work many days.

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