Carolyn Marie Wright is a kind, dedicated professional with more than fifteen years of experience in Theatre, Film, Digital Media and Arts Education. Her extensive service as a teacher, performer and arts administrator has reached equity theatres, non-profit organizations, academic institutions and independent entertainment entities throughout Los Angeles, New York, Chicago and New Haven. She has seen firsthand how a person – or a community – can grow by participating in a theater workshop, discussing a play, or attending a performance. Her belief in the transformative power of the arts has fueled a career in Education & Community Engagement.
Carolyn’s first play was The Frog Prince with Yale Children’s Theater (YCT) during her freshman year at Yale. She played the King, and fondly remembers wearing an oversized red jump suit and a bald cap. After touring local elementary schools in New Haven doing shows and theatre workshops with YCT, she quickly realized how performing and teaching would shape her life. At Yale, Carolyn went on to earn her B.A. in Theatre Studies with a double concentration in performance and playwriting. She spent several summers on theater staff at Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp in Ashford, Connecticut, working with children and teens living with chronic and terminal illnesses. Carolyn then moved to Chicago where she worked with Chicago Kids Company, performed a lot of Shakespeare, and trained at The Second City.
Her passion for performing arts and education – and the quest to learn more – inspired Carolyn to attend graduate school. Twice. She earned her M.A. in Educational Theatre at New York University’s Steinhardt School and her M.F.A. in Acting at UCLA’s School of Theatre, Film and Television – where she received the 2011 George Burns and Gracie Allen Fellowship in Comedy. Alongside her studies, Carolyn worked with MCC Theater and New Victory Theater in NYC, and Will Geer Theatricum Botanicum in Los Angeles.
Carolyn has since worked with K-12, college and adult academy programs throughout Los Angeles and Orange Counties. She has been a guest artist with Looseleaf Theatre Company at Concordia University Irvine since 2013, where she teaches Voice & Speech and performs in their Shakespeare festival each spring. Other teaching credits include: UCLA Acting & Performance Institute; University of La Verne; New York Film Academy; The Second City Hollywood; Young Storytellers Foundation; The Story Pirates; and A Noise Within Theatre.
In September 2015, Carolyn was appointed Manager of Education & Community Engagement at Geffen Playhouse. She helps manage four programs: the Geffen Playhouse Literacy Project at Mendez High School; High School Partnerships Program; Lights Up program for community groups; and the Geffen Playhouse Veterans Writing & Performance Workshop – now in its pilot year. She also has the privilege to serve as a Geffen Playhouse Teaching Artist.
Carolyn looks forward to continuing to help students and community members connect deeply to the arts in Los Angeles and beyond.