Elaine Hendriks Smith took a 20+ year hiatus from academics. During that time, she worked professionally in the performing arts as an arts administrator, director, stage manager, production manager, lighting and projection designer, and youth mentor. Elaine served as the first Director of The Berman Center for the Performing Arts in West Bloomfield, Michigan, from 2011 to 2019. She was also the Lighting Designer for Say Goodnight Gracie at St. Luke’s Theatre in New York and is a proud alumnus of The Second City, Detroit.
In 2018 Elaine returned to academics to complete her BA in Theatre from Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan. She then completed her MA in Theatre from Florida State University in 2021. She is now working towards her Ph.D. in Theatre and Performance Research here at Florida State University. Her academic research focuses on the intersection of theatre and anxiety and what this reveals about society today.