Jane Cox

Jane Cox (TSOA '98)
Lighting Designer, Amélie On Broadway
Director of the Program in Theater, Princeton University 

Where it all started:
The thing about NYU that most changed my life was being in day-to-day contact with a bunch of people who made their living in the arts. Everyone who teaches in the design program at Tisch is a working artist. I’d never experienced that before, and it gave me a really different sense of what the possibilities were. It’s hard to start a career in the arts of any kind. But in a way I had the feeling that you started your career when you started school there. You become part of the theater community. Susan Hilferty, who’s now the director of the program, helped me get my first job out of school, and there are a number of people I met there that I’m still working with.

If I’d known then:
When I was a Tisch student, I never pictured myself doing Broadway musicals. That wasn't really my world back then, and never in a million years did I think that I would be directing a theater program. It's pretty unusual to have a designer in that role—usually it's a director. But the biggest thing is that I didn't think it was possible to make a career in the theater and have a reasonably stable life with a home and a family. When I went to Tisch I felt like I was choosing art over the normal markers of a happy life. But I've been very blessed to have been given all those things. That's been the biggest surprise.

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