Producing Awareness


Archiving History and Pushing New Acting Frontiers

She may have only been four years old, but Holly Sansom remembers auditioning with “Bringing Home a Baby Bumblebee” and clinching her first role in The King and I. It was the beginning of a true love affair.

“I was always putting on shows with my friends and listening or singing to show tunes when I was little,” says Sansom. “I don’t think I seriously contemplated going into a different field.”

Over time Sansom found she also excelled behind the scenes and eventually took her talents in that direction. Today, she may well have one of the most unusual and significant jobs in performing arts as she serves as the  Production Supervisor for the Theatre on Film and Tape Archive (TOFT) at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts. TOFT has been video recording Broadway, Off-Broadway, and other theatre related events for the past forty years to archive and make these materials available to future artists and researchers.

It is also the only organization with permission from the theatrical unions and guilds to film Broadway and Off-Broadway productions for archival purposes. Sansom handles all  of the administrative work of producing these shoots including preparing and handling artist contracts, actor permissions, credits, contact sheets, theatre and union notifications, crew tickets, and scouting productions,

“My position is unique and it’s been an incredible opportunity to work with many of the theatre companies and commercial productions in and around New York City,” she says. “People come from all over the world to visit the archive and view our recordings.”

When not nourishing  her ” nerdy love of theatre and libraries,” Sansom works as a producer with several acting companies in New York.  Most recently she’s worked with the Honest Accomplice Theatre’s Queer Women and Trans People in the Performing Arts group, a troupe created to boost visibility and opportunity for the people in the queer and trans communities.  

“Growing up I didn’t know there were possibilities outside of being a straight, cisgender woman,” she says. “There’s still a huge lack of representation in our politics, media, and performing arts. I hope to continue working on projects that increase awareness in all areas of representation that are lacking and where I can be a voice of some experience and support.”