#97: Stephanie Ansin
Stephanie Ansin is a multitasker, at least in the theatrical sense. She has done it all — acting, directing, playwriting, producing, and overseeing one of Miami’s major arts institutions. It’s little wonder she enjoys a reputation as one of the leading lights of the South Florida cultural community. Like all visionaries, her ambitions extend beyond the footlights and continue even after the applause subsides. She gets involved from the beginning, creating powerful works that stir the senses and give pause for thought and reflection.
As the founder and artistic director of Miami Theater Center (MTC), Ansin has been given all the necessary resources to pursue her muse. Her original work Inanna and the Huluppu Tree won raves from critics and audiences alike, and her imaginative adaptation of Chekhov’s classic Three Sisters garnered the prestigious Palm Award for Outstanding Creative Staging and Production.
Though Ansin has been at the creative helm of MTC for nearly a dozen years, her accomplishments don’t end there. She directed off-Broadway and helped stage several landmark productions during her 14 years living and studying in New York. South Florida has ample reason to allow her continued curtain calls and repeated bows.
List five things that inspire you.
The current members and the graduates of the Social Entrepreneurship Bootcamp, hosted by Radical Partners and AkermanIN.
What was your last big project?
In partnership with Indigenous Celebration, MTC helped launch the five-city tour of seven members of the Yawanawá tribe of the Brazilian Amazon. Most of the tribe members had never left their region. They shared a program of sacred music and tribal dance with audiences at Miami Theater Center. We helped them shape the presentation, which now moves on to Austin, Texas; New York City; Marlboro, Vermont; and Los Angeles.
What is your next big project?
Remounting Everybody Drinks the Same Water, a medieval murder mystery about Muslims, Christians, and Jews living together in Cordoba, Spain. My collaborator Fernando Calzadilla and I created this production for multigenerational audiences. It first opened in spring 2014, and we are very excited to present it again. Unfortunately, its messages about the importance of getting beyond tolerance and embracing other people's differences have become even more timely and important.
What do you want Miami to know about you?
I’m always looking for new opportunities to collaborate with creative, talented, positive people.
What don't you want Miami to know about you?
That I’m really bad at remembering numbers. Really bad. Please don’t ask me how much anything costs. I’ll have to look it up.
What's one thing you want people to know about Miami?
I want people to know that Miami has a vibrant community of 20- and 30-somethings who are capable of making a huge, positive impact on the arts, education, social justice, and city planning. They deserve our support!