Sharon Ott is the Chair and Artistic Director of the Theatre department. She began her professional career as an actress with Camera Obscura, a company based at La Mama Theatre in NYC and at The Mickery Theatre in Amsterdam, Holland. Her career shifted to directing when she joined the Milwaukee based ensemble, Theatre X, where she eventually served as co-artistic director. She shared an Obie Award for Production Design with her fellow Theatre X ensemble members for their piece about the life and death of Japanese novelist, Yukio Mishima, entitled A Fierce Longing. She joined the Milwaukee Repertory Theatre as Resident Director where she worked with such noted playwrights as Larry Shue and Amlin Gray, directing the world premiere of Gray’s Obie Award winning play, How I Got That Story. She became the Artistic Director of the Berkeley Repertory Theatre, eventually accepting the Tony Award for Regional Theatre for the company. She was also the Artistic Director of the Seattle Repertory Theatre following her stint in Berkeley. As a free lance director, her work has been seen at theaters around the country including Arena Stage, the Public Theatre, South Coast Repertory, La Jolla Playhouse, Manhattan Theatre Club, and Utah Shakespeare Festival. She earned her MFA in performance from the Savannah College of Art and Design, and her undergraduate education with a triple major in theatre, music, and anthropology from Bennington College.