Helen Schultz is a freelance dramaturg and critic. She began her career as a Theatrical Literary Agent at Bret Adams and A3 Artists Agency and her criticism has appeared on HowlRound, Broadway.com, TheaterMania, and Stage & Candor. She is the recipient of the 2015 Playwrights Horizons fellowship and a member of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of America.
What are the things that drive or motivate you the most in your work?
“I’m driven by making sure that more women are represented in the entertainment industry – both in the content that I create and on my team on any show I work on or team I manage. One of my best friends from Emerson says that her greatest joy is lifting as she climbs, and I love that metaphor for advancing our own careers while helping others.”
“Self-care” was the HUGE buzzword for 2020, especially for those, many of whom were women, that were disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. What do you think self-care will mean for you in 2021?
“2020 was rough for me and for many theater professionals. 2021 self-care for me is about slowing down, taking stock, and spending more time (virtually or socially distanced!) with the people I love and care about. Getting into skincare hasn’t hurt either!”
We have a Madam VP now! Do we still need Women’s History Month?!
“Absolutely! Women have come so far but still are underrepresented in so many places of power – but we still have a long way to go. We need Women’s History Month, and we need to make sure that we expand our celebration to include ALL women.”
There is so much content out there. What career advice for women have you heard/read/listened to that you really valued?
“I’ve really appreciated the candor that Roxane Gay has had around speaking openly and freely about money. I’ve always been conditioned to believe that talking about money is ‘rude,’ but I’ve grown to know that this same belief is one of the many reasons that women are often underpaid. Otherwise, I’ve spent a lot of time with female mentors of mine talking about how we often undervalue ‘feminine’ skills in the workplace – collaboration, empathy, kindness, and building rapport. I’m trying to be better at speaking about having built these skills as much as I have with ‘hard skills’ required for my role!”
What role did Emerson play in preparing you for your career?
“Emerson very much taught me that networking is less of collecting professional contacts and more building lasting friendships. My favorite colleagues in theater are not only folks who I do business with, but they’re interesting and kind people that I love to meet for post-show drinks to talk about life. Being interested in other people – beyond just what they can do for you – makes you interesting.”