Friends with Money: Gretchen Van Lente/Drama of Works

Drama of Works production still. Image provided by artist.

Drama of Works production still. Image provided by artist.

Name:  Gretchen Van Lente

AKA: Artistic Director of Drama of Works

Hometown: Brooklyn

Current Neighborhood: Boerum Hill

Favorite thing about neighborhood: Such a mix of people, not fully gentrified yet…

What did you get funded for: Blood Red Roses: the Female Pirate Project

What’s that all about? An immersive shadow puppetry show about female pirates, presented on the Lehigh Valley barge/Waterfront Museum in Red Hook, BK! Complete with acting, costumes, singing and amazing puppetry!

What else do you have coming up? Performing our other shadow puppetry piece, Sleepy Hollow, at the Puppeteers of America National Festival at the University of Connecticut.

What’s inspiring you right now? All the people making theater in non-traditional places and in non-traditional ways…

Anything you’re you totally over? Hmmm…. I’m over small independent downtown theater having to clammer and claw for funding, especially from individual donors… Where are loyal funders and how do we find them?

When not making art you are: Teaching speech at BMCC and teaching art as a teaching artist all over the city!


Gretchen is a freelance director and the Artistic Director of the award-winning multidisciplinary company, Drama of Works. The company has created over a dozen shows, received seven Henson Foundation grants, participated in multiple developmental series and performed in international festivals in over five countries. Outside of DOW, she has directed or assisted with Theatre for the New City, Brooklyn College, {Your name here}, Bond Street Theatre, New Georges, Dixon Place, at various festivals, and many others… Gretchen is also a speech, visual arts and theatre teacher. She received her BFA in illustration from Parsons School of Design, her BA in theatre from Eugene Lang College and an MFA in directing from Brooklyn College. She is about to embark upon the journey of becoming a NYC Teaching Fellow, specializing in arts education for special needs populations.

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