Theatre takes center stage for Susanne Kepley, Elgin Community College Arts Center’s resident manager of marketing and patron services, who has long loved the art form. As an advocate for art education, her affinity for the arts plays a large part in the [plot] structure of her life, in both her [leading] role in the Arts Center and as an adjunct faculty member in ECC’s theatre program.
“My job is to raise awareness about the transformational art that is both performed and fostered here at the Arts Center—from world-renowned performers to college students and kids who are learning their craft,” said Kepley when asked about the best part of her gig. “I feel very proud that my job supports and promotes both the arts and arts education.”
This is not Kepley’s first act at ECC. Long before her current roles as manager and adjunct faculty member, Kepley worked in the Arts Center Box Office as a high school student and held other positions in the college as well.
We caught up with Kepley to learn more about her life and her work at ECC. Here is what she had to say.
In your words, what do you do at ECC?
I coordinate the Arts Center’s marketing materials and strategies. This includes writing all of our brochures, postcards, press releases, emails, etc. as well as developing and executing all advertising strategies for both our resident and visiting artist events. I also oversee the Box Office and Front of House areas. Sometimes, I get to teach a class in the theatre program.
What is your greatest accomplishment since you’ve been here?
My biggest and most challenging long-term project was facilitating the transition to a new ticketing system in the box office.
What would you do if you were ECC president for a day?
I would give out candy and have everyone play improv games. I’m a big believer in both the power of candy and improv.
If there was a movie about your life, who would you want to play you?
Tina from “Bob’s Burgers.”
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I became a mother a few months ago and my favorite thing to do right now is hang out with my daughter. She’s an amazing human who, already, has far better motor skills than I ever will. I also enjoy both participating in and seeing theatre.
Where was the best place you’ve traveled to? Or, where would you like to visit?
My husband and I went to England and Scotland on our honeymoon a few years ago. We loved it and would definitely like to go back and visit more parts of Scotland as well as head over to Ireland.
What’s something about your job that others should know?
We just announced our new season and tickets are on sale now! Kidding…(except I’m not—they really are.)
What was your favorite class in school?
I enjoyed pretty much any and every theatre class that I took in both high school and college—acting, directing, theatre design classes, improv—I love all things theatre.
What was your first job out of school?
Teaching Theatre Appreciation as an adjunct faculty member for the theatre program here at ECC.
What quote best describes your philosophy?
“Breathe.” It’s a simple but necessary reminder.