That's also a definition of what a good theatrical director does. Just as a Montessori-influenced teacher structures environments so kids can teach themselves, she tells actors to figure out what they're going to do in a scene and then show her. At the invitation of Ann Arbor lawyer Lauren London, Robbins co-founded Penny Seats with six other Ann Arborites who wanted to do something more professional than community theater but whose other commitments don't allow them to work in the theater full time.
Penny Seats does a musical outdoors each summer and an occasional indoor winter presentation, and so far, Robbins has directed all of them. Co-founder Roy Sexton calls her a free spirit who exhibits "whimsy and her own brand of anarchy, yet is well organized. If somebody has a thought or is goofing around and does something brilliant, she lets that in."
Robbins's current project is a staged reading of Thorstein the Staff-Struck by Penny Seats co-founder Russ Schwartz, which the company describes as an "an irreverent, richly humorous spin on a tale from the Icelandic sagas." (See Events, March 2.) "This will be a chance for audiences to see the creative process," she promises. "There will be much, much fun. And beer. And people hitting each other with broadswords."