BIO           Home

Theatre-Oral History Programs  Dance  Workshops   Ella Shields  Conferences   What’s New   What’s New 2011

What’s New in 2013  Bio   Contact



Harriet Lynn, BFA, MS, has enjoyed a long professional performing arts career in theatre, dance, film, radio, television and arts education. She earned a BFA from The Boston Conservatory in Dance and Theatre and returned later in life to obtain a MS degree in Administration from the University of Maryland University College.

Ms. Lynn is the founder, producer and artistic director of Heritage Theatre Artists’ Consortium. Since 1994 she has been producing and directing numerous museum theatre, living history, oral history theatre performance and senior theatre programs locally, regionally and nationally. Maryland Science Center, Jewish Museum of MD, Port Discovery, Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American Heritage and Culture and the USS Constellation Museum where she served as producer and director of the world premiere of Lewis Schrager’s play, Levy’s Ghost, aboard the top deck of the historic naval ship the USS Constellation in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor summer 2005. As co-Production Manager/Director of the Maryland Historical Society Players of the Maryland Historical Society (Baltimore, MD). In 2011 Ms. Lynn directed  five dramatic vignettes including Christian Fleetwood, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, John Wilkes Booth and Rebecca Davis for the “Divided Voices: Civil War in Maryland” exhibit.  Also in 2011 Ms. Lynn once again directed “Saul Bernstein” Immigrant Trunk program for the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Visit IMTAL Home page for photo/announcement.

She has presented oral history programs with Art on Purpose and the Creative Alliance in Baltimore.  She served on the Board of the Oral History Mid-Atlantic Region (OHMAR) has conducted oral history interviews with various individuals including a oral history interview with dancer, Jim May, archived in the Jerome Robbins Dance Division in the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts at Lincoln Center.  She has designed and directed oral history performances including Recollections: Life Through Art at the Baltimore Museum of Art (2009) and video of production viewed at International Social Theory, Politics, and Art Conference in London (2009), Tennis, Everyone!, oral history video documentary (2009),  East Side West Side Life Stories, a successful performance with senior adults from Baltimore City community (2007-2009), Lessons from Katrina, a mixed media performance at ATHE conference in New Orleans (2007) Life Stories/Life Lessons, an African-American oral history performance performed at regional conferences and museums.  Ms. Lynn has been approved by the Association of American Museums (AAM) to be a peer reviewer (Surveyor) for the AAM’s Museum Assessment Program. Her area of expertise for this position is in Public Dimension Assessment.

Ms. Lynn is often a presenter  about her work at various conferences including, International Museum Theatre Alliance, Association of American Museums, Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums, Association of Theatres in Higher Education and Senior Theatre USA, Ora History Mid-Atlantic Region, National Recreation and Parks among others. Ms. Lynn has performed and/or conducted workshops including T’ai Chi for performing artists and Life Stories - the Playshop!, an oral history program, for major conferences at IMTAL, ATHE, OHMAR, and STLA among others.

The Oxford University Press invited Miss Lynn to write a biography of the legendary performing artist, Ella Shields (Baltimore, MD, 1879-1952) for the 2012 edition of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography  that Ms. Lynn has intensely researched and performs her one-woman show about Miss Shields (“Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man”) and entertaining lecture program.

Earlier Performing Arts Career:

Nearly immediately after graduating from The Boston Conservatory she auditioned and turned an understudy role into a featured one in the National Broadway Companies (i.e., “Hello, Dolly! “starring Betty Grable and Ginger Rodgers companies, respectively, as the comedienne, Minnie Faye).  She also was featured in the National Broadway Company on a “Clear Day You Can See Forever” starring Howard Keel.  (She has the distinction of performing in the Betty Grable production of Hello, Dolly! that opened the Mechanic Theatre in her hometown of Baltimore and returning to the same theatre in the On a Clear Day production.)  Flash forward some years later, Harriet  Lynn  served as Emcee and performing as “Ella Shields”, Baltimore-born vaudevillian and British Music Hall legend, for opening “Community Day” festivities at the newly-refurbished Hippodrome Theatre replacing the now defunct Mechanic Theatre.

She also performed in regional theatres including Center Stage in The Young People’ Theatre Company in the production, The Odyssey, (where Julie Taymor of Lion King fame created original costumes, set decor and masks for this production). Ms. Lynn was  featured in successful nightclub acts such as D. D. Smith & Co. performing at the Rainbow Room in NYC, and major Las Vegas hotels including the International Hotel and MGM Grand.  She had the serendipitous opportunity to open both hotels in featured lounge acts where topping the bills were such legendary entertainers  as Peggy Lee  at the International Hotel and Lou Rawls  at the MGM Grand. Ms. Lynn performed throughout the USA, Canada, and the Caribbean for nearly twelve years before residing back in Baltimore.

Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man, a one-woman Chautauqua style performance - written and performed by Harriet Lynn

Ms. Lynn continues performing today, including in her own one-woman cabaret style show, Ella Shields: The Woman Behind the Man.  The “Evergreen” and “Indomitable” Ms. Shields was the likely role model
for “Victor” in Victor/Victoria and honored as The First Great Grandmother of British Music Hall. 

Ms. Lynn has performed her portrayal of “Ella Shields” (b., Baltimore, MD, 1879-1952) with authentic songs and dance in London, New York, Cape May, Baltimore, and other cities and venues including Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College, Washington College, the Walters Art Museum, national and international conferences and aboard Cunard’s Queen Mary 2, which she co-produced with Travel Passport, a successful New York to London Senior Theatre QM2 Trans-Atlantic Cruise and Broadway and West End Land Tour in summer 2005.  Ms. Lynn delighted audiences again aboard the Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines “Independence of the Seas” as a cultural enrichment speaker and performing artist in Fall of 2011 (U.K., Canary Islands, Portugal and Spain).  Once again she brought “Ella Shields” to life and provided passengers with glimpses into British Music Hall and the legendary greats including Vesta Tilley, Marie Lloyd among others.  In summer 2006 Harriet Lynn was one of ten women chosen from throughout the country to participate in the first Women Chautauqua Institute sponsored by Cottey College in Nevada, MO and the Missouri Humanities Council where she presented her one-woman program about Ella Shields the “Chautauqua Way”.

Contact Ms. Lynn at or 410-235-4457 for details and Ella Shields booking information.


Harriet Lynn has been a guest speaker for national and international conferences as well as a speaker and performing artist aboard cruise ships including Cunard and Royal Caribbean.  She has presented for  the Association for American Museums, Association for Theatre in Higher Education, international Museum Theatre Alliance, Oral History Mid-Atlantic Region, National Recreation and Parks, among many others.

Non-Profit Cultural Arts - Youth Programs

Harriet Lynn served three seasons (1995-’98) as the Executive Producer/Artistic Director of a children’s non-profit arts organization, Pumpkin Theatre, serving over 30,000 annually and during her tenure the theatre was named  “Best Children’s Theatre” by City Paper.

Community Liaison for Peabody Preparatory’s Dance Division’s Estelle Dennis/ Peabody Dance Dance Training for Boys (2009, 2010)

Director of A-Team, an After-School Multi-Arts Program for Teens (urban youth, 11-13) sponsored by the Baltimore Community Foundation (1999-2000)

Arts Educator

Harriet Lynn has taught theatre arts dance, t’ai chi and/or conducted various arts related programs at such institutions as Towson University, Washington College, Goucher College and Maryland Dance Council among othersT’ai Chi

Ms. Lynn has been trained by Pierre Dulaine, founder of Dancing Classrooms to provide this  international award winning program for public and private schools.  Visit:  

This program was featured in the award winning documentary film, Mad Hot Ballroom and feature film,  Take the Lead starring Antonio Banderas portraying Pierre Dulaine.

Harriet Lynn has written articles published in professional journals, various national and regional publications earning local, national and international attention. (including Dance Spirit - T’ai Chi for Dancers article).

Senior Theatre

Harriet Lynn has served as the Artistic Director of the Howard County (MD) Arts Council’s celebrated Fabulous 50+ Players since its inception in 2000. She has directed and choreographed this talented group’s annual musical productions including such musicals as “Red, Hot and Cole”, “70, Girls 70”, “Berlin to Broadway with Kurt Weill: A Musical Voyage”, “Perfectly Frank” (based on Frank Loesser’s music and lyrics, “Radio Daze” (tribute to Golden Days of Radio) and
“Fab 50’s do the 50’s” for their 10th anniversary, a successful original musical homage to the ‘50’s meshed with the cast’s own stories. The company was featured at the Senior Theatre USA Conference in summer 2009 and has been featured in the Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and other publications. Visit for more info and photos. Ms. Lynn is featured in “Who’s Who” on the national  Senior Theatre website.

Harriet Lynn facilitated and directed senior adults creating the production, “Life Stories/Life Lessons”, an oral history performance program performing for intergenerational audiences at such sites as the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African-American History and Culture, Towson University, Creative Alliance, and the Oral History in the Mid-Atlantic
Region Annual 30th Anniversary Conference.
Senior adults from various ethnic and racial backgrounds joined together under Ms. Lynn’s leadership weaving their personal stories with songs to create “East-Side West Side Life Stories” which has been in demand since its inception in 2007. This production gained recognition appearing at various museums, such as the Jewish Museum of Maryland and
Baltimore Museum of Industry, theatres, including the Fells Point Corner Theatre, Creative Alliance, national and international conferences, including the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums and the International Museum Theatre Alliance and ATHE (both summer 2009) as well as featured on radio including the weekly program, the Signal, on public radio station, WYPR-FM

and print

The cast made a positive and lasting impact at the National Recreation and Parks Conference Fall 2008.  The Baltimore City Recreation and Parks – Senior Division has sponsored this project where Ms. Lynn serves as a consultant for cultural arts and wellness programming since 2005.

Showed great insight into the lives of all involved; human emotions on all levels, very honest.  Anonymous

Harriet Lynn has been involved since the beginnings of the Maryland Senior Idol Contest & Benefit now in its fifth season. This “take off” of American Idol for seniors has also been featured in media and on Retirement Living TV.
  Ms. Lynn has served as M.C. as “Ella Shields” for the events and also at the Senior Theatre USA Conference in 2008 in Baltimore at UMBC.  Conference attendees and several Maryland Senior Idol finalists were featured for the closing night event.
Harriet Lynn is a recognized T’ai Chi instructor since 1981 teaching in hospitals (i.e., Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Union Memorial Hospital), corporations, health care institutions (i.e., Blue Cross Blue Shield of MD), government agencies (i.e., CMS, Baltimore City).  She has taught thousands of individuals including many senior adults throughout her career. 
Visit Communications Health/Network, Inc. website at for more information on this and her communications and wellness training for business professionals Ms. Lynn founded and is president of CH/N, Inc. since 1985. 


Harriet Lynn is a member of  International Museum and Theatre Alliance, Oral History Mid-Atlantic Region (former board member), Senior Theatre USA, Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and Museum (Programming Committee), Baltimore Theatre Alliance (founding board member and served on its Advisory Board), Performance Workshop Theatre, Dance Baltimore and the Greater Baltimore Theatre Alliance as well as a long time member of *Actors Equity Association, *AFTRA and SAG. Ms. Lynn is also a member of the Association of Museums (AAM) and a Peer Reviewer for this same organization.

Contact:    Harriet Lynn, Producer/Artistic Director

Heritage Theatre Artists’ Consortium

116 W, University Parkway, P-3, Baltimore MD 21210

Phone/fax: 410-235-4457   cell phone: 443-630-5312  

websites (Who’s Who in Senior Theatre)

*AEA  and AFTRA - presently honorary temporary withdrawal


Levy’s Ghost

USS Constellation

Produced & Directed by,

        Harriet Lynn


photo credit:

Amy Jones

Levy’s Ghost

by Lewis Schrager

(l to r) Uriah P. Levy (Tony Colavito), Sally Hemings (Claire Dorsey), Thomas Jefferson ( Tim King)

aboard USS Constellation

Harriet Lynn performing  “Ella Shields” aboard Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas - 2011

Grant Cloyd

as Saul Bernstein

Jewish Museum of MD

(top to bottom) Clara Barton (Britt Olsen-Ecker), John Wilkes Booth (Christopher Kinslow, Harriet Tubman (Lucretia Anderson), Christina Fleetwood (Kofi Owusu)

MD Historical Society Players

Harriet Lynn Enrichment Speaker aboard Royal Caribbean Independence of the Seas - 2011

Cast of Fabulous 50+ Players

Cast of East Side West Side

oral  history theatre

Cast of Life Stories/Life Lessons

oral  history theatre

Maryland Senior Idol

Harriet Lynn teaching T’ai Chi

Orchid Room - Druid Hill Park

Baltimore, MD