Cynthia E. Poulson
Commissioner, Management Commission
Cindy Poulson passed away June 27, 2006 and a vibrant presence in the USITT Management Commission and the entire organization was lost. She was a staunch supporter of USITT's Stage Management Mentoring Program, bringing with her a vitality, years of professional experience, and a love of the theatre. Elynmarie Kazle commented that, " One of the reasons for the success of this (mentoring) project within the Institute is due to strong leaders like Cindy who are not necessarily at the forefront but who provide strength, counsel, and guidance from within."
"One of the things that made a huge impression on me was her commitment to giving back to her community through volunteerism. She believed that her stage management skills -- particularly organizational and developing work teams out of otherwise unrelated individuals -- could be huge assets to community projects. She headed a small session on this topic at a conference years ago, and that's a big part of the reason that I've become so active in fund-raising efforts in my community," said Lea Asbell-Swanger, of Pennsylvania State University.
A sadness filled me when I read the words that Travis DeCastro, of Penn State, wrote, " Each person we meet comes away from our lives with a little piece of us leaving behind a hole to fill with memories and emotions." It aptly describes Cindy. Her love of our art encouraged us to do what we do -- just better. She shared with colleagues and students her wealth of stage management knowledge and experience. Her love for the art of stage management was an inspiration for the many students who came into her presence. And who will ever think of Cindy without remembering the huge bear hugs she gave?
" What a loss for all stage management students and USITT members! She gave me a whole new approach to teaching in this field. The teaching tools that Cindy taught me are now a part of my regular lectures in stage management, " said Jay Sheehan, instructor at San Diego State University.
" I was fortunate to meet Cindy at three USITT Conferences. Each time I was struck by her concern for, dedication to, and admiration of stage managers. She knew the intrinsic value of passing on one's knowledge to those rising up through the ranks. She had a lot to pass along. She was a consummate mentor. I will miss her commitment to the arts, her understanding of how to nurture, and her hearty laugh," noted Winston Morgan of Canada, the USITT Distinguished Achievement Award in Stage Management winner from the Management Commission in 2005.
Ms. Poulson was on the faculty of the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee for 15 years. She was active in areas of the Theatre Department from play selection, to international travel, to student exchanges. Ms. Poulson was a respected member of USITT's Board of Directors, serving her first term as a Director at Large.
We have lost a dear friend. She is that bright star you see in the heavens. We have lost a friend, a mentor, and so much more.