“My teachers at Red Oaks, particularly in the arts and English, taught me to embrace a challenge by giving us the time and space to work through it rather than allowing it to defeat us - that’s a skill I’ve carried with me throughout my life" -Clara Mooney, Red Oaks alumna
Clara Mooney discovered a love of theater during her time at Red Oaks that has shaped the course of her life. It was the Shakespeare plays put on by her fourth and fifth grade classes that first exposed a young Clara to the immersive world of producing and performing in a play – and she’s been hooked ever since. After attending Newark Academy for high school, where she was active in the performing arts, Clara went on to Kenyon College, majoring in Drama and finding her niche in directing. In college, Clara honed her directorial skills as assistant director for several of the school’s main stage productions, as well as directing student-written shows, and leading a student organization dedicated to creating more opportunities for women in theater and showcasing plays by and about women. After graduating, Clara went on to work as a director, assistant director and company manager at theaters in Seattle and Chicago.
To this day, Clara sees Red Oaks as the single most impactful educational experience she’s had. “My teachers at Red Oaks, particularly in the arts and English, taught me to embrace a challenge by giving us the time and space to work through it rather than allowing it to defeat us - that’s a skill I’ve carried with me throughout my life,” she said. From learning lines to building sets, to managing companies of actors, Clara has never shied away from a challenge, and that has brought her joy and success in her chosen field. After recently relocating back to the northeast, she now looks forward to putting those Red Oaks-learned life skills to work to share her work with new audiences.