Inspired by female-focused, female-driven and female-created theater traditions

Ellie Schwetye ’04 with other actors.

Ellie Schwetye ’04

Managing director and co-producer, Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble

Academic focus: theater major, English minor

I’m so pleased to report that my theater major has been incredibly helpful in achieving my professional goals. I am the managing director and co-producer of Slightly Askew Theatre Ensemble (SATE), a small, not-for-profit theater company in St. Louis, Missouri. What’s more, my degree from Mount Holyoke has been indescribably impactful, as the company’s mission is to “create theater that tells new and established stories in an unfamiliar way, while especially promoting the work of women in directing, design, writing, stage management and technical arts.”

Having been trained in the Mount Holyoke theater tradition that is female-focused, female-driven and female-created, it was natural for me, when I was starting my own career, to tell stories in a similar way. SATE produces several main-stage shows a year and is starting its third year of the Aphra Behn Emerging Artists’ Showcase — a new play festival aimed at giving opportunities to young women who are interested in directing for the stage.

SATE has won numerous awards, including St. Louis Theater Circle Awards for outstanding production of a comedy for my adaptation of “As You Like It” and for outstanding ensemble in a comedy for “First Impressions,” an adaptation of “Pride and Prejudice” that I co-wrote with my producing partner that was partially inspired by my Mount Holyoke roommate.

I know I wouldn’t be the artist I am today without the legacy of Mount Holyoke behind me.