Interview with Ann Sachs, President and CEO of Sachs Morgan Studio

at NAWBO-NY Signature Awards Event, March 2008

Please tell us about your business

My business is Sachs Morgan Studio, and we design theater buildings for the national performing arts community. Our clients tell us that we design theaters that work for their owners, their patrons, and for the theater professionals that use them. We design theaters people love!

Anna Sachs

Anna Sachs – photo by Amy Fletcher*


Would you like to share a few examples?

Sure, one of my favorite projects is the theater in the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington D.C. It took about ten or eleven years to develop. . Lots of our projects are lengthy because they start in the conceptual phase and then often pause for a fundraising phase, then after the funds are in place there is design development, construction documents and then construction of the building itself. These are long projects!

The concept of the theater at the National Museum of the American Indian was inspired by the original American Indian architect that headed it up. Everything was designed in a circle, based on the “circle of life”, which of course is the “way of the people”. It was very challenging for the theater component of the project, that there were to be NO straight lines in the theater; not one in the whole building. . As an audience member you can access the stage from the audience, which works beautifully for American Indian pageants, and also provides good accessibility for the disabled: anybody in a wheelchair, or any parent with a stroller can just go right up and across the stage and then come right down the other side. It’s all about that circle – there is a free flowing feeling about it. The Museum uses it once a week for their meetings, which makes us very proud.

It’s a wonderful profession. We feel as if what we are doing is somehow connected to a very primal need of human beings: gathering together for the purpose of learning, celebrating, enhancing the human spirit and understanding the human condition.

What’s next?

I have a new venture I’m developing as we speak. It’s called Theatrical Intelligence®. The company will provide workshops to corporate America using the concepts of theater . collaboration. There are six principles and eight roles in Theatrical Intelligence®, all based on the wisdom I gained during forty years in the business of show business. Everyone is familiar these days with Emotional Intelligence and Social Intelligence, and I realized what we have is Theatrical Intelligence®! It connects you to the joy of your imagination – it’s the fun part of being smart.

I just gave a speech in Oklahoma to the International Women’s Leadership Forum, and got a lot of feedback from the audience about what they believed was useful, I’ve been developing workshops over the last couple of years. They have been very productive and some people have even said life changing, so I’m excited.

What advice would you give someone who wants to start a business?

Network, network, network! Just get out there and tell people what you are doing, and listen to their feedback. Don’t defend what you are doing, just listen and absorb it, and say thank you! Then just get out there and let people know that you are doing it.

Congratulations on receiving NAWBO-NY Lifetime Achievement Signature Award! Could you tell us what it means to you?

Well, at first I honestly thought it was a mistake. I thought they must think I was Saks Fifth Avenue, or Goldman Sachs or something like that. But then I realized that NAWBO is doing something quite extraordinary in acknowledging women for this award. Women in business have been a too well kept secret for too long. We are the fastest growing segment of our Gross National Product -hundreds of millions of dollars – so it’s time to shout it out from the roof! NAWBO is doing that with these awards, and on that basis I accept it.

How can we find out more about you and your business?

You can go on to our website at You can read all about our projects, read our Newsletters and there is a place that you can contact us if you like. The website for Theatrical Intelligence will be up and running soon- stay tuned.

* Amy Fletcher is the Owner of A.E. Fletcher Photography, specializing in professional portraits and event photography. For more information and to see samples of her work, please visit

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