Artistic Director

Hennie Lee Gershuny – who went by a variety of pen names (Leeala and Srivani being but two) but was commonly referred to as ‘Lee’ – founded The Elements in Edinburgh in Scotland in 1993, having moved from New York City 5 years earlier.

It was in a sense her second but real career.

She had been active in the vibrant New York cultural scene of the 1960’s as well as the early days of encounter groups and group dynamics.

From teaching in multi-racial schools, she had risen to be a tenured professor in English Literature at the City University of New York.

The Elements provided her with a vehicle for pursuing her lifelong interests in creativity, conflict-resolution and personal growth through the arts, particularly community events, poetry and theatre productions.

Lee possessed a rare talent, being both a theorist and an expressive hands-on practitioner, very directly engaged with people and their issues on stage or off.

Her innovations therefore had deep roots, drawing initially upon her explorations in mythology and trans-personal psychology and latterly shamanism and Eastern spiritual ideas.


The play is done.
The performance has won
the hearts and minds of everyone.
The actors have gone home.
On stage, the director stands alone.
The applause, a rising crescendo,
still echoes through the hall:
“What do I do when I’ve had it all –
the dream made real,
no more wounds to heal?
Do I die when I’m most high,
letting go in bliss
with nothing to resist or flee,
not even my memory
of how desperate I used to be?”
The lights go off.
The director starts to cough.
“Is anyone here?”

Lee Gershuny