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Behind the Scenes with Catriona Hynds
tabata viso 14 staff writer
October 12, 2011

Raised by a military doctor and a chef in both Germany and the foothills of the Himalayas, the new Theater Director Catriona Hynds is familiar with the boarding school lifestyle, as she was sent to a school in Edinburgh, Scotland, from 4th to 12th grade.

After boarding school, Mrs. Hynds went to Glasgow University and earned a Master’s degree in English literature and theater, as well as minors in philosophy and archaeology. “I loved studying in Glasgow because it is a deeply artistic city. It has, at any given time, hundreds of cultural events happening: jazz, ballet, and opera,” she said. “So I studied in an environment that was very stimulating for me, someone who wanted to be a theater director.”

After Mrs. Hynds graduated, she visited The Byre Theatre in St. Andrews to see a production of Driving Miss Daisy. She recognized that this was the theater where her career would start. She spoke to the director, who then gave her the opportunity to observe the theater as the director’s “shadow.”

After a year, the Scottish Arts Council gave her a scholarship to fund her studies for a further three years.

She debuted professionally in The Ride Down Mt. Morgan, by Arthur Miller. “I edited the play, with Miller’s help. That was a wonderful start to my career,” recalled Mrs. Hynds. Since then, she has worked at Queen Margaret’s College, the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, the New Israeli Opera House, the Houston Grand Opera (where she met her husband, Peter Hynds), the National Theatre of Iceland, Mull Theatre, and the Freed Center for the Performing Arts in Ohio.

From 1999 to 2003, Mr. and Mrs. Hynds travelled extensively to places such as Iceland, Taiwan, and Thailand. “I think it is very important to travel, because it is a different kind of education. It is important that we learn to empathize with other cultures, and respect different ways of living and viewing the world. Also, from a director’s perspective, I feel that it is crucial to travel,” she explained.

Mother of two, Mrs. Hynds remarked, “I chose [Deerfield] because it’s a boarding school. I feel very at home in a boarding
school environment. You can sense the expectation of excellence [and] it’s very family-oriented. I also wanted to get back to doing what I think I do best—teaching and directing.”