A Classic Liberal Arts Education
On April 18, 2009 Weissman Professor Catherine Russell will be inducted into The Guinness Book Of World Records for not missing a day of work since 1987.
Professor Russell has been called: “the hardest working woman in show biz”; "the Cal Ripken, Jr. of Broadway”; and "the Healthiest Person Alive.” In 22 years as an actress/general manager/teacher/producer, Professor Russell:
· Has never had a sick day or vacation day
· Has performed in all 9,000 performances of her play except four
· Has spent over two years of her life onstage (18,000 hours!)
“Catherine's world-class achievement is without question truly historic,” said Danny Girton, Jr, Adjudications Executive at Guinness World Records. At a time when people are uncertain about job security, her story is both inspiring and a lesson in how to survive by wearing multiple hats to thrive in a fledgling economy.
Text by publicist John Capo and edited by J D Sallen
Russell is the general manager and star of Perfect Crime, the longest-running play in the history of New York theater. She has performed the role of psychiatrist (and potential cold-blooded killer) Margaret Thorne Brent 8,963 times consistently since the play opened on April 18, 1987. She performs the play eight times a week and has only missed four performances in 22 years, to attend her siblings’ weddings. She has spent over two years of her life onstage (18,000 hours!)
But Russell does not merely show up to the theater to act. She general manages The Snapple Theater Center, the multi-theater complex on the corner of 50th Street and Broadway which houses Perfect Crime and which she built from scratch in 2006. She attends to all aspects of the theater’s business and maintenance and is as comfortable around a prop gun as she is a nail gun, vacuum cleaner or, yes, the dreaded toilet plunger.
She singlehandedly scored corporate sponsorship from Snapple and gutted and converted a former beauty school into the two-story legit theater that now exists in the heart of Times Square. The Snapple Theater Center is New York City’s only corporate-sponsored Off Broadway theater.
Russell is on the faculty at Baruch College and New York University and is one of the producers of The Fantasticks revival also playing at The Snapple Theater Center. She lives in Hell’s Kitchen with her boyfriend, restaurateur Patrick Robustelli, and says that when they get married it will be on a Tuesday, Perfect Crime’s night off.