Executive Director, Playwright, Producer
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Sharmon J. HilfingerExecutive Director, Playwright, Producer

Sharmon has been writing plays for twenty-seven years and has been produced by Pear Avenue Theatre, TheatreFirst , Heartland Theater, Menlo Player’s Guild, and BootStrap Theater Foundation. Hanging Georgia is her seventh full-length play to be produced, and three of her short plays have been included in the Pear Avenue Theatre Pear Slices program. She is a founding member of the Pear Avenue Theatre Playwright’s Guild, a playwriting peer group. She studied playwriting with Rick Foster, Ellen McLaughlin and Oskar Eustis. Hanging Georgia is her fourth play with music written in collaboration with composer Joan McMillen. Their play about Emily Dickinson, Tell It Slant, sold-out at the Pear Avenue Theater (2009) and was remounted at the Southside Theater, Fort Mason in San Francisco (2010). Imaginal Disks: A Tale of Transformation premiered in 2001 at the Mountain View Center for Performing Arts. In 2003, Hilfinger and McMillen’s environmental activist play for high school actors, got water?, premiered at the San Francisco Fringe Festival. Sharmon’s other full-length plays include An Ideal Mother, A History of Things that Never Happened, and Deuce.

In 1998, she founded BootStrap Theater Foundation.  As Executive Director, she has developed a model for creating new works which emphasizes ensemble acting, music and movement.  Her approach is to dwell in the collaborative process, rather than hurry into product.

Long before a play goes into rehearsal, Sharmon designs workshops that include writers, musicians, actors and a director. Her philosophy is that the script provides a foundation for a production, but that foundation is more like a trampoline, rather than a hard surface: a place from which the actors spring and land, repeatedly. She prefers to abandon hierarchy and listen to all voices, watch all ideas.  Working early-on with other theater professionals allows the creative team to envision and incorporate theatrical moments that would not be found working in isolation.

She is proud to have nurtured ten world premiere productions from page to stage since the inception of BootStrap.