Skip to content

March 20, 2003

For More Information, Contact:
Daryl Savage at (650) 688-6384


PALO ALTO – Pat Briggs, the long-time Director of Palo Alto Children’s Theatre, has been named the 21st Assembly District’s Woman of the Year, Assemblyman Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto) announced today.

Briggs was chosen for the distinguished honor for her “above and beyond” commitment as Director of the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre.

“Pat has given this community so much throughout the years. She knows how to bring out the best in children, and she’s created a place where every kid is welcome. She’s a consummate professional and her theatrical expertise is extraordinary,” Simitian said.

Briggs, who has been the theater’s director for more than 40 years, was “absolutely shocked” when she was chosen Woman of the Year. “This comes as a complete surprise. I am so tremendously pleased. But it’s my staff that’s really thrilled,” she said.

Assistant Director Michael Litfin also expressed delight. Litfin, who has worked with Briggs for 27 years, said, “Pat is certainly deserving of this recognition. Her leadership of the Theatre and the care she expresses for both the community at large, and the kids in particular, are exemplary.”

Briggs has directed more than 420 productions in Palo Alto in the last four decades and has written 20 of her own scripts. It is estimated that more than 30,000 Palo Alto children have been personally directed by Briggs.

One of those 30,000 was Simitian, who first met Briggs when he was a Children’s Theatre participant in the 1960’s. “Pat directed me when I played ‘Theseus’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream. More than 30 years later, I can still recite the monologues I memorized under Pat’s direction,” he said. He added, however, “My staff begs me not to.”

Briggs’ professionalism and expertise has not gone unnoticed in the community or in the world of theater. In June of 2001, the City of Palo Alto officially renamed the Children’s Theatre Auditorium to the “Patricia Briggs Auditorium,” in honor of the 40th anniversary of Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. And in 1999, Briggs was given the Campton Bell Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Alliance of Theatre Educators.

Two events are scheduled for the 2003 Woman of the Year. The first, a formal ceremony will take place on Monday, March 24, 2003 on the Assembly Floor of the State Capitol recognizing Briggs and her distinguished career. The second event for Briggs will be held in Palo Alto at an afternoon reception featuring live performances on Sunday, April 13, 2003, at the Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Rd., Palo Alto, from 2:30 to 4:30 pm. The reception is free and the public is invited.


Related Pages: Press Releases