Pat Collins, Director
After graduating from St. Joseph’s College in 1974, Pat Collins worked at St. Augustine school for two years where he taught first, second and third grade and ran the school Drama Club. In 1976 with the help of people from across the Rensselaer community, he was the founding director of what was then called the Rensselaer Children’s Summer Theatre (now Fendig Summer Theatre for Children). He directed the theatre between 1976 and 1979, again in 1983-84, and returned in 1995 to direct the 20th anniversary Production of Peter Pan. He is currently Professor of Education and Chair of Theatre at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, New York, where he teaches courses on education and the arts as well as theatre, drama and education. Since arriving in Geneva in 1985 he also founded the Geneva Theatre Guild Youth Theatre (1986) and the Nancy Curvin Playground Players (1998) while also directing the local high school theatre program for a number of years. He lives in Geneva, New York with his wife, artist Emily Kenas, and has two grown children: Kathy and Jesse.
"Coming back to direct Fendig is coming home." --Pat Collins
Rensselaer is essentially where I came of age. It is where many of my intellectual, artistic, professional and community-minded roots are. I was born and raised in Chicago but Rensselaer is where I learned to think, teach, direct and build community. I have lived in many places since leaving Rensselaer but I still come back often, and when Emily and I decided to get married this is where we came. At a very personal level, despite Tom Wolf, coming back to direct Fendig is coming home. Coming back is also clearly a professional and artistic homecoming. Without Fendig I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing today. It is only because this community supported my work and allowed the children of Rensselaer to teach me how to direct that I have been doing this for the last forty years. Mary Poppins says: “Anything can happen if you let it”. That’s what Fendig is about and that’s what I am coming back to celebrate.