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Heide Janssen most recently worked for almost five years at the Orange County Register where she was recruited to develop and curate their Varsity Arts section. Varsity Arts was dedicated to weekly stories and news about high school arts programs and students, giving arts students the same recognition that student athletes long enjoyed. The Varsity Arts section was the first of its kind in the nation and has since inspired similar sections in other regional newspapers. She also developed and continues to produce the Artist of the Year program which honors the top theater, dance, instrumental and vocal music, 2D and 3D visual arts, and film/animation students in Orange County.
Prior to joining the Register, she worked in administrative and producing capacities at major regional theater companies including South Coast Repertory, Center Theatre Group’s Ahmanson Stage in Los Angeles, The 5th Avenue Theatre in Seattle, Court Theater in Chicago, and Yale Repertory Theatre in New Haven. She has also produced smaller independent projects with Snehal Desai (artistic director at East West Players in Los Angeles) and Adam O’Byrne (producer with New Neighborhood, a multi-media production company) among others. In the world of education, she helped to establish the Orange County Cappies and created the RoleAbout Theatre Festival, programs for high school theater students which she ran for over 10 years. She also taught theater and English at Mission Viejo High School early in her career.
She has been honored by the California Educational Theatre Association for Outstanding Contributions to Educational Theatre for her work with Varsity Arts and The Orange County Register, and by the Orange County Department of Education for Outstanding Contributions to Education for her work with the Orange County Cappies.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in English, summa cum laude, from the University of Minnesota and a master of fine arts in theater management from the Yale School of Drama, Yale University.
Languages spoken: English
Areas of expertise: Orange County, arts and culture, and arts education.