Anna Shneiderman '97
Co-Founder, Ragged Wing Ensemble and The Flight Deck
Anna Shneiderman '97 is the executive director and co-founder of Ragged Wing Ensemble and The Flight Deck. As a GDS “lifer,” Anna has spent her career devoted to the GDS mission.
Anna discovered her passion at an early age at GDS: the performing arts. She began dancing while in Lower School, performed in the Middle School play, and in High School, tried her hand at props, lighting, stage management, singing, acting, and directing. She never gave up her passion through her time at the University of Chicago and Northwestern University. This work inspired her to envision and create both Ragged Wing Ensemble, a theater company, and The Flight Deck, a shared venue for multidisciplinary artists to “present work, share resources, and practice radical acts of imagination in the heart of downtown Oakland.”
Anna moved to Oakland, California because she valued the city’s diversity and rich culture. It was here that she co-founded the theater group Ragged Wing Ensemble. The rapid gentrification in Oakland made it difficult for local theater and performance groups to secure rehearsal and performance space. As a result, Anna went on to co-found The Flight Deck, a rehearsal facility and visible performance space in downtown Oakland with the goal to promote education, cultural and social exchange, community, and diversity. The Flight Deck’s performance companies tackle themes such as prejudice in the criminal justice system, gentrification in Oakland, and sex trafficking.
According to one Google reviewer: “Venues like this make urban areas humane and soulful. I can’t use the word essential enough.”
Anna is the 2018 winner of the GDS Alumni Founders Award.