Heather Provost
Producing Artistic Director, The Colony Theatre

Can you tell us a little about what you do?
I am not a fan of talking about myself! I write, direct, and produce film, TV, and theatre. I’m currently the Producing Artistic Director at The Colony Theatre in Burbank, and am also working on some exciting film projects, including another fun movie for Hallmark. I consider myself very fortunate to be able to make movies and theatre. The idea that anything is possible and that persistence wears down resistance was embedded in my brain early on in my career. Other things I do include spending as much time as I can with my family, my partner Jason, my friends, my two very large cats and one extremely loud bird, obsessively rooting for The Dodgers and FSU Football, daydreaming about our vacations to Walt Disney World in Orlando, laughing, and just being very grateful for every single step of the journey I’m on. Oh and fun fact – I’m also an avid crypto trader. 😉

How did you first become interested in art?
I was blessed with extremely supportive parents…I should say, family as a whole, and I was exposed to the arts on a consistent basis as a very little girl. I was raised in Connecticut, so NYC was just a train ride away. We would go see Broadway shows, visit museums, watch the Hartford Symphony play, go to the ballet, etc., and I would be in awe. I was always led to believe that I could do anything in this world that I set my heart on…and was encouraged to follow my dreams. And I was dreaming of a future in the arts. 🙂

When I was very little, my mom would read to me every day. My favorite part of the day. And long before I could actually read, I started to pretend I was reading the stories to her instead–just making it all up as I went along. And I was committed. Full. Out. As if it was word-for-word straight off each page; clearly NO idea what I was looking at or talking about. (Also, for the record, my mom STILL has to deal with all of my stories…she proofs and goes through every single document, pitch, script that I write.) So, from a very young age, I was a storyteller. One of the first specific stories (and slightly embarrassing) I ever remember telling was about Christmas. I must’ve been about four or five, and my parents got it all on tape. I was explaining how this “amazing woman named Mary was gonna get a special baby, but there was no room at the hotel, so they made her go out back in the garage”…*face palm* and I performed all of the characters and had a detailed description of every scene etc. So, I started very early.

I then went on to study the craft, got my degree in theatre from Florida State University, and jumped right into it all feet first. As an actor, I worked professionally in musical theatre all over the country for a long time and then in TV/film as well. Then I made the transition to producing, and I was producing on Broadway for a while, was nominated for some very cool awards, and decided I wanted to make movies and to tell stories through the medium of film and TV next. So I started doing that, with some fun ones on Hallmark Channel, Hallmark Movies & Mysteries, Amazon, and one coming up on E! (I love a sensible rom-com). But when I had moved back to LA to focus on film, I still wanted to keep making theatre. And way back a million years ago when I was a performer, one of the first shows I did out here was Side Show at The Colony Theatre. And I remember how much I loved that experience–the space, the people, all of it. It felt like home to me. So when I returned to LA from NYC, that was one of the first stops I made. And I’m now the Producing Artistic Director.

How does art enrich a community, and what are some ways people can engage with art in Burbank?
Funny, I just finished doing a ton of research on this very subject. There are TONS of ways art enriches a community. There are quality of life elements, commerce elements, education elements…tangibles and intangibles. And I think some of the most important are the intangibles, honestly. The standout for me is empathy. The arts, theatre, etc., help instill empathy, by bringing the “human” element into the human experience…which is a tremendous responsibility. One of the very reasons we added the tagline “putting the art in the heart of Burbank” to our Colony Theatre logo art. Intangibles matter. We believe live theatre and events have the power to change lives through illumination of issues all human beings share. Our theatre is a safe haven. For all community members. For all artists. For all people. I consider that extremely significant. Burbank is the “Media Capital of the World.” I think one would have to say, a professional theatre like The Colony has contributed and continues to contribute to that. It is our belief that we can best serve our community by producing and presenting works that bring
people together across cultural, political, generational, and ethnic divides.

A strong focus of ours is on local youth. We are dedicated to mentoring as well as offering opportunities to grow with our theatre, and to be promoted from within. As young people move through the Burbank school system, they should expect their community to support their desire to see and participate in visual, media, and performing arts performances – and to pass these values to their own children. We hope to continue being a strong contributor of that. Ways to engage…I’d say, research the incredible arts organizations in Burbank and then subscribe to their newsletters so you can keep up with all of the cool stuff they’ve got going on! The Burbank Cultural Arts Commission is a great resource.

If you could share with our community one thing about art, what would it be?

Can I share two things? Art. Support it. Immerse yourself in it. Every medium. Let it fill you. Your life will be exponentially better if you do. And if you’re an artist of any kind…whatever idea you have in your head right now…start it…do it…don’t let anything stop you. Even when it’s scary. Do it afraid.
To find out more about Heather and her work, visit https://www.colonytheatre.org/