I’m writing... to put in a word (or many words) of recommendation for director/performer/dramaturg Erin Merritt. Erin was the founding artistic director of Woman’s Will here in the Bay Area. I got to know her this past summer because she directed a commission of ours as part of the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and she was really stellar, as a director and a collaborator. The commission is a musical, FSM, intended to mark the upcoming 50th anniversary of the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley. For the festival, we were just workshopping the script (the music is in process as I write), which is a behemoth of a story: the FSM as viewed from three different angles: the idealistic-but-politically-naïve students, the often-well-intended-but-misguided university administration, and the covertly-manipulative FBI under the direction of J. Edgar Hoover. Our goal for the workshop was to see if the story was even remotely trackable and, hopefully, compelling. Erin moved more swiftly than I honestly thought possible, getting the piece on its feet and giving it shape in a way that provided far more valuable information than the authors and I had even hoped for in a short period of time. Erin’s work was dramaturgically smart and directorially quite strong. And because she has been a producer, she knows how to think and plan like a producer. And she was fun to work with on top of all that, which is such an added bonus.”

Marge Betley, Executive Director, Stagebridge
(Erin subsequently directed FSM’s second development process and World Premiere)

“Erin has always proven herself to be a driven, passionate person with both a clear artistic vision, and a calm, farsighted professionalism. Her work with Woman's Will was always courageous, exciting, and delivered with the sure hand of an artist/administrator who knew not only how to get things done, but how to do them in a way that was entertaining and provocative.

Michael Gene Sullivan, Director, San Francisco Mime Troupe

Erin Merritt is one of the most devoted, talented figures on the theater scene. The creativity involved in the productions of Woman's Will is a testament to Erin’s talent and organizational capabilities. I enjoyed interviewing her on several occasions and found her articulate and knowledgeable. She is a valuable resource for anyone with whom she is associated.

Harry Osibin, Public Affairs Director, KITS-FM

“As director of the Kurt Weill show "Happy End," Erin Merritt was an inspired and dedicated presence throughout the run. She came to rehearsal with clear and thorough ideas of what she wanted from the performers, and gave us helpful feedback on what could be improved. Erin dealt well and efficiently with the inevitable difficulties arising in such an involved production, and kept her eye on the ultimate goal—giving a sophisticated and representative performance of Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht. Her enthusiasm for the work was contagious, and her direction, while demanding, also allowed the performers to bring their own creative ideas and spontaneity to the table. It was an honor to work with her in realizing this production.”

Hillary Nordwell, Orchestra Leader/Performer, Happy End

“Erin has the unique ability of being able to manage (what would be) the chaos of multiple projects, multiple groups of people, scheduling, endless odds & ends... all while maintaining her personable and warm interactions with each person involved. She is a collaborator and full of initiative. (Her theater company) is a place of imagination, professional integrity, and a personal pleasure.

Julie Kurtz, Freelance Actor

“Erin gave me my first professional opportunity as a designer. Her devotion to the company and commitment to developing quality work was and has been an inspiration. She is a driving force in San Francisco theater, a bit of an institution.

Jess Hooks, Designer, Woman's Will