(Photo by Don Kadair)
Executive Director, Manship Theatre
“I have a friend who gives great advice. One thing she has always mentioned as I approach a new challenge is to have no fear. You can’t be afraid to jump and take a chance. Know that your hard work, training and character will sustain you. You may make some mistakes. Just own up, apologize, move on and forgive yourself.”
Professional experience: A Baton Rouge native, Melanie Couvillon is a graduate of St. Joseph’s Academy and LSU. She was a teacher before moving up to New York on a scholarship to attend the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Following graduation, she spent eight years in the Big Apple, working internationally and nationally in theater. Couvillon returned to Baton Rouge in 2003 and later became the first director of the Community School for the Arts, a new program at the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge. From there she became the executive director at Playmakers of Baton Rouge, and then director of family programming and events at Manship Theatre. Couvillon says she was thrilled to be named the new executive director of Manship Theatre in January 2016. Ironically, she recalled having passed a mock model of the new Shaw Center for the Arts at Fest For All in 2003 and commented, “I would love to work there someday.” As she says, “Some dreams do come true!”
In the news: Now more than a decade old, Manship Theatre continues to play a vital role in the community not only as an entertainment venue but as a contributor to education and outreach. Manship Theatre’s 2016 Red Carpet Gala was its most successful to date, Couvillon says, raising funds to continue the mission of providing a outlet for multiple educational resources.