Steve Sigel became the first Executive Director of the Garde Arts Center in April, 1988. He is responsible for having established the Garde as the major performing arts center for Southeastern Connecticut featuring the finest in theatre, dance, music and film from around the world. He spearheaded a $15 million campaign to renovate the 1500-seat historic theatre and helped acquire four adjacent office holdings for additional theatre, education and community services. His career combines a unique mix of community development, theatre production and administration.
In support of the Gardeâ€™s mission as a cultural and economic catalyst, Steve was a founding member of City Center District, New Londonâ€™s downtown business improvement district, the New London Main Street Program, and Mystic Coast and Country travel and leisure council. He recently received an award from New London Landmarks for the Gardeâ€™s role in historic revitalization.
Steve was also a founder of the Arts Alliance of Southeastern Connecticut, twice produced the Governorâ€™s Arts Awards and hosted and produced the recent national launch of the National Endowment for Arts Shakespeare touring initiative.
Born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Sigelâ€™s career in theatre began as a â€œtheatre babyâ€ under the influence of his father Leon, a successful community theatre actor, director and producer who founded Marylandâ€™s first professional theatre, Center Stage.
Steve studied violin at the Peabody Conservatory of Music in Baltimore and performed with the Maryland Youth Symphony Orchestra. A graduate of Boston University, Steve worked as an Alinsky-trained community organizer in Boston and San Francisco. In 1978he joined the One Act Theatre Company of San Francisco in 1978 as an actor, composer and musician, later becoming its General Manager. Steve won the Bay Area Drama Criticâ€™s Circle Award and the Hollywood Dramalogue Award for his musical scores of The Dead End Kid and San Joaquin Blues. He performed, directed and composed music for the Eureka Theater, The Mill Valley Playwrights Festival, and Berkeley Shakespeare Festival, where he also won awards for his scores and music direction for The Winterâ€™s and Ivanhoe.
Prior to New London, Steve served as the Director of Public Relations for the San Francisco State University School of Creative Arts and as Managing Director of Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.